According to Reuters, Costa Group has agreed to a takeover by US private equity firm Paine Schwartz Partners, in a deal valuing AUD 1.5 billion (approx. $962.6 million).
Costa is Australia’s leading grower, packer and marketer of fresh fruit and vegetables.
In October 2022, Paine Schwartz acquired a 13.78% stake in Costa at AUD 2.60 per share. Subsequently, in March this year, the stake was increased to 14.84%, paving the way for formal discussions regarding a buyout bid in April.
Under the agreement, Paine Schwartz will acquire the remaining 85.16% stake in Costa for AUD 3.20 apiece. The private equity firm made an initial offer of AUD 3.50 a share in July, but trimmed the offer earlier this week.
Costa expects the deal to be completed in the first quarter of 2024, subject to shareholders and regulatory bodies.
The Australian fruit and vegetable grower has unanimously advised its shareholders to vote in favour of the agreement should a better offer not emerge.
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