Two leading South American fruit companies have signed a merger agreement that will see Chile-headquartered Hortifrut incorporate 1,450 hectares of productive blueberry fields and facilities into its Peruvian operations.
Hortifrut and Peruvian agricultural development company Talsa S.A. signed the agreement yesterday for a value of US$160 million and 17.13% of shares in the merged company, along with performance-related awards.
“Thanks to this agreement, Hortifrut consolidates is leadership further as a global platform by merging one of the main growers, exporters and distributors of blueberries in the Southern Hemisphere,” Hortifrut president Víctor Moller said in a release.
The new land, adding to Hortifrut’s existing 350 hectares in Trujillo and 400 hectares together with partner Atlantic Blue in Olmos, brings its total production area in Peru up to 2,200 hectares.
Through the deal Hortifrut expects to export 45,000 metric tons (MT) of blueberries annually from Peru, which could rise to 100,000MT in the short term.
The two companies have already been working together for four years through the entity Hortifrut – Tal S.A., which produces and trades berries.
“This investment fills us with pride as it allows Hortifrut and its partners around the world across the value chain to obtain a unique position in the berry industry by having first grade production and facilities in the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and now an even stronger presence in Peru,” Moller said.
He said this added to investments in Europe and Asia, consolidating the group’s position as a global leader with “great strength for 52 weeks of the year”.