People in Paraguay have known the Frutana brand for over 20 years. The medium-sized manufacturer of freshly squeezed orange juice and frozen fruit supplies many Asuncion hotels and restaurants, but above all international fast-food chains such as McDonald's, Pizza Hut, KFC and Burger King throughout Paraguay. Frutana also supplies various gas station chains.
The Corona crisis had unduly hurt the company: under lock-down scenarios, its most important customers had stopped buying products for months, and costs continued to run. Against the backdrop of an uncertain future, the company began to look for a strategic partner, and quickly reached a commercial agreement with dream partner Agri Terra.
Last Monday, Paraguay Fresh S.A., the fresh juice unit under the Agri Terra Group umbrella, acquired 90% of Frutana's shares, the company says.
Convincing synergy effects
Agri Terra manages the third largest orange plantations in Paraguay and has also begun construction of a state-of-the-art orange juice concentrate plant. The Paraguay Fresh juice arm will supply supermarkets, hotels and restaurants with freshly squeezed fruit juice in the future. "The synergy effects convinced us immediately," said Carsten Pfau immediately after signing the contract. "Frutana has been known in Paraguay for a long time, is a familiar name to many companies as an old-established traditional brand. Agri Terra has an enormous contingent of fresh fruit, and in addition, our import and wholesale unit comes into play very elegantly here. The Frutana takeover gives us immediate access to important customers, which would otherwise certainly have cost us a year or two in terms of development work and market penetration," Pfau continues. The financially strong group will now invest further. "We have already ordered new machines for the production of fresh juice, and we will also address the Paraguayan market with a professional advertising campaign," says Pfau. "Frutana is getting a whole new look under the Agri Terra umbrella."
Existing shareholders remain in the company
The existing owners will retain 10% of the shares, and company founder Jorge Maciel will also continue as managing director. "Of course, we did not want to do without Jorge's (Maciel) expertise, know-how and, above all, the personal customer relationships that have grown over two decades, and it is certainly always a bit difficult for a company founder to let go so completely. I think we found an optimal solution for all sides, everyone left the meeting with their heads held high," explains Carsten Pfau.
For more information:
Agri Terra KG