AgriFORCE Growing Systems to acquire Berry People
Berry People LLC has entered into a binding letter of intent (LOI) to sell its business to AgriFORCE Growing Systems Ltd, an intellectual property-focused AgTech company based out of Vancouver, Canada.
The Berry People company, founded in 2017 by berry industry veterans, has expanded to over 200 retail and food service clients and more than 100 grower and exporter clients across the US, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, and Peru.
The initial agreement (which shall be followed by a definitive purchase agreement) sets forth a purchase price of $28 million. It will consist of $18.2 million in cash and $9.8 million in AgriFORCE restricted shares, which will be paid at closing to acquire 70% of Berry People’s equity interests.
Berry People will have the opportunity for future earnouts during the five years after closing based on future revenue and EBITDA targets associated with agreed upon growth targets.
Jerald Downs, CEO of Berry People, said: “We are thrilled to join the AgriFORCE group of companies, as we are mutually aligned on the Company’s vision and strategy, as well as AgriFORCE’s desire to build the Berry People brand alongside the Company’s founders and industry-experienced management team. This assures us that we can be a reliable and rooted platform for our industry partners, other collaborators, and the broader communities that we serve.”
Mauro Pennella, President of AgriFORCE Brands also had comments about the announcement: “We are very excited to announce the LOI with The Berry People, which is a thriving business with promising growth opportunities. The AgriFORCE Brands division offers better and more nutritious food and plant-based products to today’s consumers, in the form of better grains and pulses with UN(THINK), and now in terms of fresh and nutritious berries,” said Pennella.
He added: “We aim to maximize commercial synergies between The Berry People and UN(THINK), in terms of distribution, to retail, food service, and other areas.”
Furthermore, considering Berry People’s new grower relationships in Mexico, Pennella anticipates robust growth in 2023.
“We see a great fit with, Delphy, given their well-established soft fruit and CEA advisory business, as well as their advanced R&D capabilities, which will work with Berry People and its grower operators to drive increased yields, and improved quality, enhance farm operations, and support the deployment of new varietals, fortifying Berry People’s vertical integration and growth plans,” said Penella.