Fresh acquisition makes Wonderful Citrus leading lime grower in Mexico
The largest integrated grower-shipper of citrus in the U.S. has made acquisitions in Texas and Mexico to bolster its lime operations.
Last week, Wonderful Citrus announced it had acquired Texas-based Persian lime distributor I. Kunik Company, as well as the operations of B&S Grupo Exportador, S.A. de C.V.
As part of the transaction, the group acquired nearly 2,000 acres of Persian lime orchards in Mexico, making it the largest lime grower in the country when combined with its existing lime acreage.
The 1,944 acres of orchards are in the states of Veracruz and Puebla, taking Wonderful's total producing and/or maturing lime orchards in Mexico up to 7,100 acres.
"The addition of this infrastructure and supply of Persian limes provided by these major acquisitions is a perfect complement to the other citrus varieties we already offer," said Wonderful Citrus president David Krause.
"This will enhance our ability to be the ultimate one-stop shop for citrus for our customers across all channels, and round out Wonderful Citrus’ basket of fresh citrus offerings.
The operations of I. Kunik, located in McAllen, TX, will be renamed “Wonderful Citrus, I. Kunik Division,” and become the center for all Persian lime distribution to the U.S. and Canada by Wonderful Citrus.
Based in the Rio Grand Valley close to the U.S.-Mexico border, I. Kunik has long-standing relationships with B&S and other suppliers, as well the customers developed over five decades in the business.
The newly acquired company also has a 65,000 square foot packing and cold storage facility.
More than 200 I. Kunik employees have joined Wonderful Citrus as part of the deal. The addition of this team will expand Wonderful Citrus’ already robust operations in Texas. Lawrence Kroman, grandson of the founder, Irving Kunik, will continue his role in the business on a consulting basis for at least two years.
In Mexico, close to 300 B&S employees have also joined Wonderful Citrus as part of the deal.
As the Grupo B&S division, Grupo B&S will continue to supply and pack Persian limes for export to the U.S. and Canada though I. Kunik, as well as for export to Europe and Asia directly from Mexico.