Irish mushroom firm buys Ont. operations

Monaghan Mushrooms, a major U.K. mushroom producer and marketer, has finalized a deal to buy major production facilities from Ontario mushroom grower Rol-land Farms.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, includes Rol-land’s Essex-Kent Mushroom business, stock and mushroom production and distribution operations at Campbellville, about 25 km east of the city.

The Irish firm says its deal includes a “long-term commitment” to the development of the Campbellville site. Including the purchase price, the company said it plans to spend $26 million developing the facilities over the next two years.

Monaghan projects an annual turnover of $35 million, which will enable it to make a “significant contribution” to Canada’s mushroom undustry.

The company said in a release Wednesday that it’s “especially delighted” to acquire Rol-land’s research and development (R+D) capability at Campbellville and will continue to invest in R+D.

Monaghan said it will work closely with mushroom industry bodies such as Mushrooms Canada and the American Mushroom Council to develop the industry and to “further demonstrate to consumers that mushrooms are healthy.”

The Rol-land acquisition will “secure the future” of about 300 employees at Campbellville, Monaghan said in its release.

In the fall of 2011, when its investment is “complete,” Monaghan expects the Campbellville plant’s employment numbers to grow to between 400 and 500.

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