Chilean fresh and frozen berry firm Hortifrut, has reached an agreement to acquire 100% of Atlantic Blue, a leading company in variety development, growing and sales of berries in Europe and Northern Africa, in a €241 million deal.
Hortifrut has maintained a partnership with Atlantic Blue, based in Huelva, Spain, since the year 2000.
The acquisition will allow Hortifrut to increase its growing area by about 20%, adding roughly 850 hectares across the three countries where Atlantic Blue operates, including 400 hectares in Spain, 248 hectares in Morocco and 200 hectares in Peru. The purchase of the hectares in Morocco will allow the company to complete the supply of its own blueberries in Europe year-round.
Together with the successful production of raspberries in this country and Portugal, the firm follows its path towards the supply of the full berry category all year-round for its European customers.
In addition to Atlantic Blue’s farms and facilities, the transaction includes the SAT processing plant, 100% of Euroberry commercial platform, with annual sales of approximately €200 million, and Atlantic Blue’s variety and breeding development program of blueberries and low chill cherries worldwide, opening substantial new growth and investment opportunities for the company in Europe and providing a solid foundation to meet the growing demand for European customers and consumers for high-quality berries.
“We are very excited, because this is a significant step to boost our growth in Europe, the second largest market in the world for fresh berries. Without a doubt, this is one of the most relevant and strategic acquisitions in Hortifrut’s history and will allow us to strengthen our leadership position within the global berry industry,” said Hortifrut CEO, Juan Ignacio Allende.
Allende added: “The transaction provides us with the leverage to strengthen and build our variety development and breeding capabilities, enabling us to accelerate growth and deliver a greater product range to our customers around the world, since we will be the only major player with year-round supply of consistent high-quality berries. Along with this, Hortifrut will continue to provide its high-level service, for which the company is known for globally.”