George Weston Ltd. puts his bakery business up for sale to take advantage of his real estate holdings and Loblaw Cos. Ltd. who announced a management shuffle, including the resignation of President Sarah Davis.
George Weston owns the Weston Foods bakery business, which produces bread, rolls, and baked goods in Canada and the United States under brands such as Wonder, ACE Bakery, Country Harvest, D’Italiano, and others. The bakery business had sales of $ 2.1 billion in 2020, which is less than 10 percent of George Weston’s total business.
George Weston also owns 52.6 percent of grocery giant Loblaw and a 61.8 percent stake in Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust, which holds a broad portfolio of retail, industrial and office properties, many of which are anchored in Loblaw stores .
“As George Weston turns his attention to Loblaw and Choice Properties, we are confident that this is the right time to realize Weston Foods’ strategic growth potential through the sale,” said Galen G. Weston, Chairman and CEO of the Company, in an opinion. “By selling Weston Foods, I can invest new time and energy at Loblaw to increase our momentum both in our stationary network and in our leadership position in the areas of digital and data,” he added.
In a separate announcement, Loblaw announced that Loblaw President Sarah Davis will be retiring early and that Mr. Weston, in addition to his role at George Weston Ltd. Loblaw will again lead as Chairman and President. Ms. Davis will depart after the company’s annual meeting on May 6th.
Richard Dufresne, President and Chief Financial Officer of George Weston Ltd., will also join Loblaw’s CFO, replacing current CFO Darren Myers, who will also leave the company on May 6th. GWL Board Member Robert Sawyer, whose previous roles include Chief Operating Officer at grocer Metro Inc. and CEO of Rona Inc., will join Loblaw as Chief Operating Officer.
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