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Hortifrut to take control of Peru's largest blueberry producer

Hortifrut continues to expand in the global berries business.

The company recently signed a memorandum of understanding to take control of Peru's largest blueberry producer.

The company controlled by the Moller, Swett, Novion, and Del Rio families paid US $160 million in cash to Grupo Rocio of Peru, with whom they were already partners.

In addition, once the operation, which involves a sale and a merger, is closed, the Peruvians will keep 17% of Hortifrut. Furthermore, the Rocio are entitled to a contingent payment equivalent to the excess over US $281 million over a period of 5 years.

Hortifrut reported that the goal is to expand and strengthen its position as a global supplier of fruit. Seventy-one percent of the company's total revenue is from the sale of blueberries.

The transaction is subject to the successful completion of Due Diligence. Hortifrut says it expects to finalize the implementation of the operation in the second quarter of 2018.

It also stated that it's still not possible to determine the impact it will have on the business and the financial effects.

Negotiations had been in place since July. The company informed the Superintendency of Securities and Insurance (SVS) about the talks through two Essential Reserved Facts, one on July 7 and the second on August 8.

In 2016 Hortifrut recorded sales of US $429 million, i.e. 23% more than in 2015, thanks to the marketing of 51.5 million kilos of Berries. This led to an EBITDA of US $66.9 million, with a growth rate of 40% in relation to the previous year.

To date, it is Chile's main exporter of berries. According to market sources, the organic cultivation of berries, mainly blueberries, allows the company to differentiate itself and charge higher prices for its products, thus obtaining a higher margin per kilogram sold.

Source: elmostrador.cl

Publication date: 10/5/2017


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