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Heinz signs deal with Highbury Canco to keep Leamington factory open

Published by Frank Defalco on February 27, 2014

OTTAWA - H.J. Heinz Co. and Highbury Canco Corp have signed a letter of intent to acquire the Heinz Leamington factory and become a contract packer for Heinz.

Highbury Canco Corporation is an Ontario-based consortium of investors and announced they would employ 250 and additional seasonal workers as required.

Jayson Myers, CME President and CEO, offered this on the deal, “I’m hopeful that a deal will be finalized between Heinz and Highbury Canco that will keep production and jobs in Leamington.  This is great news for the community, for Southwestern Ontario, and for the Ontario economy.”

This past November Heinz announced the closure of the 105-year-old plant and would cease operations in June of 2014, leaving close to 800 out work.

The plant currently makes ketchup, baby food, canned tomatoes, beans and it processes tomato juice and sources report that the plant will continue to make tomato juice for Heinz.

Under the terms of the letter of intent, Highbury would assume responsibility for the Heinz Leamington site and transition to manufacturing, co-packing and distribution of certain products in early July.

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is Canada’s largest trade and industry association, and the voice of manufacturing and global business in Canada.

The association represents more than 10,000 leading companies nationwide. As Canada's leading business network, CME – through various initiatives including the establishment of the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition – touches more than 100,000 companies from coast to coast, engaged in manufacturing, global business and service-related industries.

CME's membership network accounts for an estimated 82 per cent of Canadian manufacturing production and 90 per cent of goods and services exports.

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