Friday, December 8, 2023

Horticulture firm sold

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Freshmax has sold its domestic horticultural produce trading and services to T&G Global for $30 million, subject to Commerce Commission approval.
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Freshmax will retain its pipfruit, international, Australian and intellectual property businesses.

It has apple orchards in Hawke’s Bay and grows summer fruits and mandarins at Swan Hill in Victoria.

The domestic business has more than $100m annual revenue and 280 staff at three markets in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

Founded in 1995, its services include growing advisers, packing, ripening, fumigation, quality control and cold storage.

Fruit importing strengths include bananas, pineapples, mangos, Australian pears and watermelons from the Pacific Islands.

Freshmax founder and chairman David Smith said the export side of the company was by far the biggest and it will focus on growth across core categories of pipfruit, summer fruit, avocados and intellectual property through Innovar.

NZ division chief executive Andrew Common said the mutually beneficial deal set up both parties for more business growth.

“We share a similar culture with largely complementary business models. The coming together of these two businesses provides greater sustainability and brings the potential for growth opportunities.”

Aligning the businesses will create ability for suppliers on both sides to access a wider market base and provide an expanded portfolio of high-quality products to customers, Common said.

T&G Global chief executive Gareth Edgecombe said the acquisition demonstrates a strong commitment to the domestic business on which the formerly named Turners and Growers was founded 122 years ago.

However, T&G Global also made a big cut to its profit forecast for 2019, now $2m-$4m compared with $8.3m in 2018.

Edgecombe cited restructuring costs, revised holiday pay entitlements and new lease accounting standards.

T&G Global is listed and 75% owned by BayWa of Germany and its shares have traded in the range of $2.50 to $3 over the past 12 months.

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