IRVING, Texas – Darling International Inc. completed its acquisition of Rothsay, the rendering and biodiesel business of Toronto-based Maple Leaf Foods. Darling bought the business for C$645 million ($617.5 million) in cash.

"We are excited to add the Rothsay assets and employees to our portfolio," said Randall Stuewe, chairman and CEO of Darling. "Together we will bring new solutions and opportunities to our many customers across North America."

Rothsay is a leading rendering and biodiesel producer in Canada. The business includes six rendering plants in Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia and a biodiesel facility in Quebec. The sale of Rothsay is part of Maple Leaf Foods’ strategy to strengthen the company's protein business. Proceeds from the Rothsay deal will initially be used to pay down debt. However, management will consider additional uses for the excess capital which could include reinvesting in its core consumer packaged food businesses or returning excess capital to shareholders, the company said. Rothsay had EBITDA of approximately $85 million in 2012.

In early October, Darling International acquired Vion Ingredients, a division of Vion Holding N.V. for €1.6 billion ($2.2 billion) in cash. The company expects to close that deal in January 2014. The acquisitions allow Darling to diversify its income streams and position the company as a leading global firm in bio-nutrient recovery and conversion. Darling International recycles beef, poultry and pork by-products into useable ingredients such as tallow, feed-grade fats, meat and bone meal, poultry meal and hides. The company also recovers and converts used cooking oil and commercial bakery residuals into valuable feed and fuel ingredients.