Munger Brothers, LLC (California, US) and Hortifrut S.A. (Santiago, Chile) – both Naturipe Farms partners – have signed a memorandum of understanding to merge the Munger’s berry business with Hortifrut, S.A.
To be called Munger-Hortifrut North America, Inc., the new subsidiary of Hortifrut S.A. will manage its North American berry operations.
The merger means the formation of a consolidated global berry organisation with operations in Washington, Oregon and California in the US as well as in Canada, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Europe, Africa and Asia, Naturipe Farms said in a media release.
Munger Brothers, LLC is the largest North American fresh blueberry producer, with over 1,200 ha in the premier producing regions from British Columbia to Washington, Oregon, California and Mexico.
“We are extremely proud and honoured to join hands with the Munger family, whom we have known for well over a decade and with whom we have successfully collaborated on a wide range of berry projects,” Hortifrut S.A. founder and chairman Victor Moller said in the release.
“With this unique event in the produce industry, we have integrated berry production across the spine of the Pacific coast line from British Columbia in the north to the southern tip of Chile,” he said.
Naturipe Farms CEO Dwight Ferguson said the merger of the two Naturipe Farms grower-owners will be a natural extension of the collaboration they have long enjoyed. “Both are leading berry companies, highly innovative with experienced and knowledgeable management teams who have consistently focused on exceptional customer and consumer experiences,” he said.
The merger, expected to be accomplished during the fourth quarter of 2016, is subject to conditions including approval by Hortifrut S.A. shareholders and various third parties, the release says.