New Zealand’s Mr. Apple future uncertain as sale looms - FreshFruitPortal.com

New Zealand’s Mr. Apple future uncertain as sale looms

Countries
New Zealand’s Mr. Apple future uncertain as sale looms

New Zealand apple grower and exporter Mr. Apple –one of the country’s largest--will be sold by its parent company, but finding a local buyer is considered by local media to be a hard sell at best.

The company is owned by an investment group, South Canterbury Finance, which in August entered into receivership and is undergoing a restructuring of its assets.

As a result of the receivership, the investment group will sell Mr. Apple. The company holds 20 orchards, 3 packing houses, a cold storage facility and averages 3 million  to 3.5 million boxes per year, according to Mr. Apple’s website.

According to a report in stuff.co.nz, the most likely buyer for the company would not be local industry players, but rather Chinese or Japanese food companies with enough cash on hand to risk the investment. A similar scenario has emerged in the case of  Natural Dairy, a Chinese company attempting to buy the 8000 hectare Crafar farm, which is in receivership.

The possible acquisition of large agricultural producers in New Zealand has fermented significant opposition among many residents, who prefer national ownership, local papers have reported.

The largest barrier to national ownership is the low level of apple returns this year due to value of  the New Zealand dollar against its US or UK counterparts.

New Zealand’s largest fresh fruit company, Turners & Growers, which markets Mr. Apple shipments under its Enza brand in the EU and the US, is not seen as a likely suitor.

"There is a price at which we could be interested in parts but we are not an orchardist. We are a marketer, though having said that we have some orchards. But we have no great vision to get into commodity apple production," Turners & Growers’ chairman Tony Gibbs is quoted as saying.

The report speculates that a bid for Mr. Apple could land between NZD 20 million-30 million (US$ 15.2 million-22.9 million).

Photograph: www.inta.gov.ar

Source: www.freshfruitportal.com

Subscribe to our newsletter