SunOpta Inc.

SunOpta Inc.
Opta Minerals Inc.

Opta Minerals Inc.

February 17, 2005 08:01 ET

SunOpta Announces Completion of the $18,000,000 Initial Public Offering of Opta Minerals Inc.


NEWS RELEASE TRANSMITTED BY CCNMatthews

FOR: SUNOPTA INC.

NASDAQ SYMBOL: STKL
TSX SYMBOL: SOY

AND OPTA MINERALS INC.

TSX SYMBOL: OPM

FEBRUARY 17, 2005 - 08:01 ET

SunOpta Announces Completion of the $18,000,000
Initial Public Offering of Opta Minerals Inc.

TORONTO--(CCNMatthews - Feb 17, 2005) -

SunOpta Inc. (SunOpta) (NASDAQ:STKL)(TSX:SOY) today announced that its
subsidiary, Opta Minerals Inc. (Opta Minerals) (TSX:OPM), has completed
its previously announced initial public offering led by Loewen,
Ondaatje, McCutcheon Limited and a syndicate of underwriters that
included First Associates Investments Inc. and Canaccord Capital
Corporation. Pursuant to the initial public offering, an aggregate of
4,500,000 units of Opta Minerals were issued and sold to the public at a
purchase price of $4.00 per unit, for aggregate gross proceeds of
$18,000,000. All figures are in Canadian dollars.

Each unit consists of one common share of Opta Minerals and one-half of
a common share purchase warrant. The common shares are listed on the
Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) under the symbol "OPM" and began trading
today. Each whole warrant is listed on the TSX under the symbol "OPM.WT"
and entitles the holder to purchase one common share of Opta Minerals at
a price of $5.00 any time on or before February 17, 2007.

The underwriters have been granted an over-allotment option to purchase
up to an additional 450,000 common shares of Opta Minerals at a price of
$3.99 per share and up to an additional 225,000 warrants at a price of
$0.01 per each one-half warrant. The over-allotment option is
exercisable at any time on or before March 19, 2005 for the purposes of
covering over-allotments, if any, and for market stabilization in
connection with the offering.

Opta Minerals was previously a wholly-owned subsidiary of SunOpta Inc.,
a public company listed on both the TSX and the Nasdaq Small Cap Market.
Immediately prior to the closing of the offering, SunOpta completed an
internal reorganization of its corporate and capital structure pursuant
to which all of its interest in the assets and subsidiaries comprising
its Opta Minerals Group was transferred to Opta Minerals. SunOpta will
retain 72.7% of the outstanding common shares of Opta Minerals prior to
the potential exercise of the over-allotment option.

The common shares and warrants sold pursuant to the offering have not
been, nor will they be, registered under the United States Securities
Act of 1933, as amended, and such common shares and warrants may not be
offered or sold within the United States or to, or for the account or
benefit of, U.S. persons absent registration or an applicable exemption
from U.S. registration requirements. This press release does not
constitute an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy,
common shares or warrants of Opta Minerals in the United States.

About Opta Minerals:

Opta Minerals is a vertically integrated producer, manufacturer,
distributor and recycler of silica-free loose abrasives, industrial
minerals, specialty sands and related products for use primarily in the
foundry, steel, marine/bridge cleaning, roofing shingle and municipal
water filtration industries. With its head office in Waterdown, Ontario,
the Company also has production and distribution facilities in Ontario,
Quebec, Louisiana, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and New York and
one of the broadest product lines in the industry.

SunOpta Inc. is an operator of high-growth ethical businesses, focusing
on integrated business models in the natural and organic food markets.
For the last six consecutive years, SunOpta was included in Profit
magazine's 'Profit 100' list of the 100 fastest growing companies in
Canada. The company has three operating units: the SunOpta Food Group,
which specializes in sourcing, processing and distribution of natural
and organic food products integrated from seed through packaged
products; the Opta Minerals Group, a producer, distributor, and recycler
of environmentally friendly industrial materials; and the StakeTech
Steam Explosion Group that engineers and markets clean pulping systems
using patented steam explosion technology. Each of these business units
has proprietary products and services that give it a solid competitive
advantage in its sector.

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Contact Information

  • FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
    SunOpta Inc.
    Jeremy N. Kendall, Steve Bromley, John Dietrich,
    or Susan Wiekenkamp, 905-455-2528, ext 103
    email: swiekenkamp@sunopta.com
    website: www.sunopta.com