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UPDATE 1-SunOpta gets $85 mln from Oaktree Capital to repay debt

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Oct 7 Canadian organic food company SunOpta Inc said it has got $85 million from investment manager Oaktree Capital Management LP, in exchange for preferred shares, to pay off its second lien debt.

In reaching the agreement with Oaktree, SunOpta said it has concluded the previously announced review of strategic alternatives for the company.

The company's U.S.-listed shares were down 9.4 percent at $6.34, and its Toronto-listed shares were down 9.2 percent at C$8.40 in afternoon trading.

Brampton, Ontario-based SunOpta had hired financial and legal advisers in June to explore strategic alternatives, months after its largest shareholder Tourbillon Capital Partners LP urged the company to sell itself due to its frustration with the company's performance.

After Tourbillon made the first move, other hedge fund investors such as West Face Capital and Engaged Capital pressured the company to sell itself.

SunOpta also announced changes to its board on Friday, one of which is the addition of two Oaktree-nominated independent directors, Dean Hollis and Al Bolles.

Rothschild Inc is acting as financial adviser to SunOpta and Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP and Stoel Rives are acting as its legal advisers. Oaktree is represented by Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Stikeman Elliott LLP. (Reporting by Vishaka George in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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