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George Weston to sell bakery business to Hearthside Food Solutions

With its bakery segment sold off, the Toronto-based company will focus on its retail and real estate businesses

George Weston Ltd. says it has signed a deal to sell its Weston Foods ambient bakery business for $370 million.

Weston's ambient business provides retail and food service customers in Canada and the U.S. with cookies, crackers, cones and wafers. The Toronto-based company says it will sell the business to Illinois-based Hearthside Food Solutions, a contract manufacturer and producer of baked foods, snacks, nutrition bars, and more.

George Weston announced in March its intention to sell its bakery segment and to focus on its retail and real estate businesses.

In October, the company reached a deal to sell its fresh and frozen bakery businesses to affiliated entities of FGF Brands Inc. for aggregate cash consideration of $1.2 billion.

Together with the sale of the fresh and frozen business, the sale of the ambient business represents the disposition of George Weston's entire bakery business, for an aggregate value of $1.57 billion.

The ambient business sale is expected to close before the end of the first quarter of 2022. The company says it expects to return the net proceeds from both transactions to shareholders through share repurchases over time.

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