TORONTO - Michael McCain, president and chief executive officer of Maple Leaf Foods Inc. (MLF), told analysts on Feb. 12 that the company is committed to its meat business and sees growth opportunities in Canada and elsewhere, in responding to questions about whether Maple Leaf Foods might be for sale, Reuters reports.

Earlier that day, it was announced by MLF’s Canada Bread Co. that Grupo Bimbo of Mexico will buy Canada Bread Co. for US$1.66 billion in cash, allowing the Canadian company's parent, Maple Leaf, to focus on meat products.

"This transaction maximizes the value of our investment in Canada Bread and focuses Maple Leaf on building its leadership in the consumer packaged-meats business," McCain said. "Upon completion of our prepared-meats strategy at the end of 2014, Maple Leaf intends to capitalize on its state-of-the-art network, market-leading brands and a strong balance sheet to build on our position as Canada's leading consumer packaged-meats company, both within and beyond our borders."