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Agtech firm to acquire berry business

AgriFORCE Growing Systems, an intellectual property-focused agtech company has entered into a binding letter of intent (LOI) to acquire Berry People. This bolsters the AgriFORCE Brands division and allows it to realize commercial synergies with UN(THINK), which aims at innovating in the specialty flour and grain-based products categories.

The Berry People company was founded in 2017 by berry industry veterans to create a new platform to meet market demand for a branded, year-round, full-line supply of organic and conventional berries. It established a global trade brand and scalable operations, comprised of over 200 retail and foodservice clients and over 100 grower and exporter clients across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Peru. Berry People had unaudited net revenues of USD $37 million for the year that ended December 31, 2022.

The LOI (which shall be followed by a definitive purchase agreement) sets forth a purchase price of $28 million, consisting of $18.2 million in cash and $9.8 million in AgriFORCE restricted shares, which will be paid at closing to acquire 70 percent 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.

In collaboration with AgriFORCE, Berry People aims to further develop backward integration into agricultural production via farming joint ventures and deploy licensed and developed IP as part of a scalable franchising model.

“We are excited to announce the LOI with Berry People, which is a thriving business with promising growth opportunities,” said Mauro Pennella, president of AgriFORCE Brands. “The AgriFORCE Brands division offers better, more nutritious food and plant-based products to today’s consumers, both in the form of better grains and pulses with UN(THINK) and now in terms of fresh and nutritious berries. We aim to maximize commercial synergies between Berry People and UN(THINK), in terms of distribution, to retail, foodservice and other areas. We anticipate the additional volume coming in the next year from its new grower relationships in Mexico should drive robust growth in 2023. We see a great fit with Delphy, given its well-established soft fruit and CEA advisory business, as well as its 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.”

“We are thrilled to join AgriFORCE 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,” said Jerald Downs, CEO of Berry People. “This assures us that we can be a reliable and rooted platform for our industry partners and other collaborators.”

For more information:
Ian Pedersen
AgriFORCE
Tel: (604) 757-0952
ipedersen@agriforcegs.com   
www.agriforcegs.com 


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