Chile-based Hortifrut is moving closer to completing its proposed merger with Talsa S.A., having now concluded the due diligence process with the Peruvian entity’s parent company Grupo Rocío.
Hortifrut’s board of directors have now called an extraordinary shareholders’ meeting on Dec. 22, 2017, during which they will vote on the merger.
The deal will see Hortifrut incorporate 1,450 hectares of productive blueberry fields and facilities into its Peruvian operations.
Hortifrut and Peruvian agricultural development company Talsa S.A. announced they had signed the merger agreement in early October for a value of US$160 million and 17.13% of shares in the merged company, along with performance-related awards.
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.
“This merger provides HORTIFRUT and the Naturipe Brand a unique position within the industry, ensuring first quality production and facilities in the US, Mexico, Brasil, Argentina, Chile, Europe, Northern Africa, Asia and now with a stronger position in Peru.
“This agreement positions us as a leading global platform of enormous strength throughout the 52 weeks of the year, making us a very attractive partner for retailers, foodservice distributors and eCommerce channels worldwide,” Hortifrut president Víctor Moller said.