Belgium-based produce company Greenyard has announced plans to sell its horticulture arm to local investment fund Straco for €120 million (US$141 million).
Greenyard said it was taking “decisive actions towards a refocus and a strengthened balance sheet.”
On Friday, the company revealed it had struck new banking deals as part of a focus to improve its balance sheet and profitability in the wake of this summer’s listeria-linked product recall, which in mid-July the company estimated had cost it US$35 million.
Greenyard Horticulture is a market leader in Belgium, France, Poland and Ukraine for growing media and mushroom substrates, exporting to more than 60 countries with 14 facilities in Europe and Russia.
“Today, our focus is needed on improving profitability again and on deleveraging our balance sheet. In our two other segments (Fresh and Long Fresh), our strategy to build strong relationships with its customers remains intact,” says CEO Hein Deprez.
He went onto say that the “reorientation” toward the Fresh and Long Fresh segments will allow “more focused management’s attention and
a faster implementation of impactful operational improvement actions for internal profitable growth.”
“We feel that this divestment is an important step towards a stronger Greenyard,” he says.
“Furthermore, the divestment of the Horticulture segment, in combination with the agreement with the lenders and the ongoing deleveraging and improvement plans, will secure Greenyard of the necessary means for the repayment of the retail bond in the summer of next year.”