Global agriculture group Camellia has purchased a majority stake in Kent-based fruit business Bardsley England for £15.7 million.
The investment sees Camellia acquire an 80% share in Bardsley, which is said to be UK’s second-largest apple supplier. The company will also make a loan of £9.3 million, largely to repay Bardsley’s existing debts.
Bardsley’s farming operation covers 850 hectares in Kent and includes 27 orchards, as well as a large grading, packing and storage facility. The firm grows nearly 18,000 thousand tonnes of fruit a year and at peak season it employs 550 staff.
The deal will help growth and is said to ensure Bardsley is able to invest further in developing its packing operations and extending its orchards.
Bardsley had a revenue of £22.4 million and made a loss before tax of £1.7 million in the year ended 31 March.
“We have been looking for some time to increase our focus on agriculture where we have deep skills, and to increase our operations in the UK,” said Camellia’s CEO, Tom Franks. “Bardsley helps with both. It is located close to our HQ in Kent, which is the premier region for apple growing in the country. We look forward to partnering with the Bardsley family in the future.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2021
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