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Sun World taken over by Bridgepoint

Sun World taken over by Bridgepoint

Sun World International LLC, a global fruit genetics, R&D and licensing company, announced an agreement to be acquired by Bridgepoint, an international private equity group. Bridgepoint will become controlling shareholder alongside management and succeed a transformative and successful period of ownership from Renewable Resources Group LLC and Vision Ridge Partners.

The Bridgepoint investment will support Sun World’s plans to accelerate its growth strategy by building a broad-based genetics and technology platform for specialty fruit growers.

“Our connection with the Bridgepoint team was undeniable from the first conversation,” said Sun World CEO David Marguleas, who will serve on the company’s new board and hold an equity position in the company. “They understand and appreciate the extraordinary head start we enjoy in the sector after 30 years of breeding superior produce. And they share our vision of the many ways we can grow. To say we’re ‘excited’ undersells what this new partnership means for Sun World.”

“In partnering with Sun World, our ambition is for it to become a broader based platform investment in fruit genetics with a considerable runway for long term growth,” said Andrew Sweet, a partner at Bridgepoint who leads the firm’s investment activities across North America. Sun World was part of the first wave of genetic innovation for produce, establishing a recurring royalty business model that has enabled it to prioritise its R&D innovation. Today it enjoys a market-leading reputation with the largest growers, distribution partners and retailers globally thanks to its cutting-edge molecular techniques, and breeding processes. We expect to continue to invest in new technologies that benefit growers and consumers alike,” Sweet concluded.

In addition to enhancing its intellectual property portfolio and core grape and stone fruit breeding operation, Sun World has begun work in a number of under-served crops and technology solutions that have strong global appeal. The anticipated growth will be both organic and through investment and acquisition of new genetics and emerging technologies, all of which have the potential to add meaningful value for Sun World growers worldwide.

To facilitate the company’s expansion, last year Sun World opened its new Center for Innovation in California’s San Joaquin Valley. The complex features a sophisticated fruit breeding and variety development operation, including specialized facilities for tissue culture and molecular breeding, and a 160-acre experimental research farm. Sun World currently holds more than 300 plant patents and the company views the Center for Innovation as an important advantage in advancing its pipeline of fruit genetics.

Sun World divested of its substantial farming, packing and marketing operation in 2019 to concentrate more fully on its breeding and licensing business.

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Edeka to purchase 44 Real stores

Edeka to purchase 44 Real stores

 

The break-up of retailer Real continues, with Edeka set to complete the takeover of 44 Real stores, according to Lebensmittel Zeitung. Edeka is also in negotiations to acquire a further 28 stores in the future. In the meantime, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, the Bundeskartellamt, has ruled that allowing Edeka to acquire the 28 stores would create significant competition concerns.

Since announcing the sale of its Real banner to the SCP Group in June 2020, Kaufland has acquired 92 stores, while Globus has gained a further 24, with negotiations on-going for the rest. In an attempt to maintain competition, especially at a local level, the Bundeskartellamt is requiring SCP to sell some of the Real stores to medium-sized retailers.

 

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French government opposes take-over of Carrefour

French government opposes take-over of Carrefour
Photo: Réussir Fruits et Légumes

France’s government has opposed the proposed €16.2 billion takeover of French supermarket chain Carrefour by Canadian convenience store group Couche-Tard, according to Reuters. Labour Minister Elisabeth Borne said Thursday on Radio Europe 1 that she is “opposed to a takeover.” That follows similar comments by Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire who explained that the country’s “food sovereignty” is at stake. “I’m not in favour of such a deal,” Le Maire said on television channel France 5.

Carrefour is Europe’s biggest retailer and the biggest private employer in France, with over 105,000 employees in the country. Under French rules on controlling foreign investment, the government’s approval is required in some strategic sectors, which includes food retail, Le Maire said.

Carrefour said in a statement that the Alimentation Couche-Tard group had approached it with a tie-up proposal and that talks are at an early stage. Couche-Tard also confirmed it proposed an initial “friendly combination” at the price of €20 per share but stressed “there is no certainty at this stage that these discussions will result in any agreement or transaction.”

 

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Investigation launched into Asda takeover

Investigation launched into Asda takeover

The planned £6.8 billion takeover of Asda by the Issa brothers and private equity firm TDR Capital is the subject of a probe by the UK’s competition watchdog (CMA), after the European Commission referred the deal to the UK. The CMA will now look at whether the takeover will lead to a substantial lessening of competition in the UK.

The CMA now has until February 18 to reach a decision on the first stage of its investigation and has set a deadline of December 22 for interested parties to comment.

The deal is not expected to encounter the same competition issues that blocked Sainsbury’s proposed merger with Asda, which was blocked by the CMA last year. However, it is thought the CMA may demand the Issa brothers offload some of their EG sites, having cited reduced competition in fuel retailing among its concerns when it vetoed the Sainsbury’s tie-up.

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Farmind acquires Joy Wing Mau Asia

mind acquires Joy Wing Mau Asia

 

Japanese fruit and vegetable supplier, Farmind Corporation is to take over Joy Wing Mau Asia’s Japanese division. JWM Asia Japan’s turnover last year totalled around US$55 million, supplying a range of fresh produce, chief among which is citrus, which it sources from South Africa, North America, Latin America, and Oceania. The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding but have not disclosed the value of the deal. Farmind has announced that it will expand JYM Asia Japan’s portfolio of imported produce, diversify sourcing and strengthen the supply base. Farmind’s range of imported fruit and vegetables includes bananas, avocados, and pineapples, as well as local production.

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T&G Global to sell Kerikeri kiwifruit orchards, packhouse facilities and Zespri assets to Seeka

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Seeka is to make a significant investment by taking over large parts of T&G’s Kerikeri operations. The firm will take ownership of T&G’s 80 hectares of kiwifruit orchards in the Kerikeri area on 30th June 2018. Moreover, on 30th April 2018, Seeka will pay approximately NZ$40 million to purchase T&G’s packing and storage facilities and a further NZ$2 million to buy out all of T&G’s shares in Zespri. T&G is to retain ownership of the Hayward, ENZAGold, ENZARed and Zespri trademarks. The agreement also sets out that T&G will have access to fruit grown by Seeka to supply its global and domestic customers. While Seeka is to rename T&G’s facilities Seeka Kerikeri, all existing staff will be retained.

Seeka aims to consolidate itself in a region which shows great potential for both avocados and kiwifruit and plans to establish it as a post-harvest hub. Meanwhile T&G intends to focus more on its core categories of citrus and berries.