Hortifrut, a global business platform in breeding, growing and marketing fresh and frozen berries, has reached an agreement to acquire 100 percent of Atlantic Blue. Atlantic Blue is a company working in variety development, growing and sales of berries in Europe and Northern Africa and is based in Huelva, Spain. Hortifrut has maintained a partnership with the company since 2000.
The purchase implies an investment of €241 million in company value, equivalent to approximately US$280 million. Of that amount, €24 million were paid on September 30, 2021; €73.2 million will be paid at the closing of the transaction planned for November 30, 2021; with the remaining balance to be paid in ten equal annual instalments. Interest is subject to the consumer price index in Spain plus a margin of 0.5 percent, with a floor of 1 percent and a ceiling of 4 percent.
This acquisition allows Hortifrut to increase its growing area by about 20 percent, adding roughly 850 hectares across the three countries where Atlantic Blue operates, including 400 hectares in Spain, 248 hectares in Morocco and 200 hectares in Peru.
“This is a significant step to boost our growth in Europe, the second largest market in the world for fresh berries," said Juan Ignacio Allende.
The purchase of the hectares in Morocco allows the company to complete the supply of its own blueberries in Europe year-round. Together with the successful production of raspberries in this country and Portugal, the firm follows its path towards supplying the full berry category all year-round for its European customers.
In addition to Atlantic Blue’s farms and facilities, the transaction includes: the SAT processing plant; 100 percent of Euroberry commercial platform, with annual sales of approximately €200 million; and Atlantic Blue’s variety and breeding development program of blueberries and low-chill cherries worldwide. This opens substantial new growth and investment opportunities for the company in Europe and provides a solid foundation to meet growing demand from European consumers for high-quality berries.
“This is a significant step to boost our growth in Europe, the second largest market in the world for fresh berries. Without a doubt, this is one of the most relevant and strategic acquisitions in Hortifrut’s history and allows us to strengthen our leadership position within the global berry industry,” said Hortifrut CEO Juan Ignacio Allende.
“The transaction provides us with the leverage to strengthen and build our variety development and breeding capabilities, enabling us to accelerate growth and deliver a greater product range to our customers around the world,” says Allende. “We will have year-round supply of consistent high-quality berries. Along with this, Hortifrut will continue to provide the high-level service which it is known for globally.”
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