Freshmax to merge with Crasborn Bros
The deal will see Freshmax absorb the balance of Crasborn's share in Hawke's Bay orchard properties, along with the company's post harvest business. In return Crasborn will gain a 'significant investment' in Freshmax.
All permanent Crasborn employees will be offered employment with Freshmax, including the company's founders, Eddie, Lou and Ricks Crasborn, who will remain in senior positions.
Eddie, Crasborn's managing director, will also join the Freshmax board.
A release said the new group would be a major grower, packer, and exporter of pipfruit from Hawkes Bay.
"The Crasborn Group is highly regarded as a leader of the pipfruit industry in New Zealand and they have an excellent reputation for delivering premium fruit to consumers in markets all around the world and in New Zealand," Freshmax chairman David Smith said.
"We have had a long association with Crasborns and know the values and cultures of the two groups are very similar, including a strong desire to invest in the future. Freshmax's commitment to the apple industry and desire to better service our customers are foremost in this move to establish our group as NZ's third largest exporter."
Eddie Crasborn echoed Smith's comments, saying the two companies' similar values would help them to continue to grow.
"The two companies share a common philosophy and absolute commitment to their employees, customers and suppliers. We believe this merger will provide the capacity to enable the combined pipfruit business to continue to grow and prosper in the years ahead."
The acquisition is subject to certain conditions including approval being obtained under the Overseas Investment Act.