Unifrutti Group, a producer and distributor of fresh fruit, has acquired a 92% controlling stake in Oranfrizer, an Italian producer of blood oranges, using capital from The Carlyle Group.
The deal – which was made for an undisclosed sum – will expand Unifrutti’s portfolio, particularly in the citrus fruit segment, and secure supply to meet future demand growth.
Oranfrizer supplies its blood oranges as both fruit or juice to markets worldwide including Japan, China, the US and the European Union. The company reportedly generated €47 million in full year 2019 revenue.
As part of the transaction, Unifrutti received an additional €35 million investment from private equity firm The Carlyle Group to support its growth and acquisition strategy. This brings the firm’s total investment in Unifruitti to €175 million after its global credit platform provided the entire €140 million debut debt financing package to the fruit distributor last year.
Unifrutti oversees the entire value chain; involved in the production, ripening, packaging and processing, logistics and distribution in the fresh fruit market.
Its operations span across Europe, Asia, South America and Africa as its serves major retails including Costco, Walmart and Waitrose. Through Unifrutti’s distribution channels, Oranfrizer will gain access to additional international markets.
Marco Venturelli, CEO of Unifrutti Group, said: “Unifrutti Group sees opportunity to consolidate our global leadership position in the high-quality fresh fruit sector and we are continuing to develop our presence in most international markets with a focus on rapidly expanding markets in Europe, China and Japan.”
Nicola Falcinelli, managing director within Carlyle’s Global Credit platform, added: “We are pleased to strengthen our partnership with Unifrutti Group, a company that continues to perform very well in challenging market conditions thanks to increasing demand for premium products, a focus on healthy living and an increasing priority on food security.”
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