The company was valued at US$680 million, including debt. The process still has to go through the regulatory phases. “We look forward to the next stage of our successful journey,” said Romano Vercellino, founder of Verfrut, in reference to the firm’s future.
What was a well-known secret in the fruit sector was finally confirmed this weekend. Business owner Romano Vercellino Dellafiori reached an agreement for the sale of his fruit company Verfrut to Unifrutti, which belongs to the Abu Dhabi-based group ADQ, which acquired Unifrutti in April 2022.
“Unifrutti, a global leader in premium fresh fruit production and distribution, announced the acquisition of 100% of Sociedad Exportadora Verfrut S.A, a key producer and exporter of South American fruit,” stated a press release.
According to sources close to the transaction, the parties had been negotiating for more than a year, had a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), and the transaction - which includes Verfrut’s business in Chile and Peru - was made on the basis of a company value of US$ 680 million, which includes debt.
The owner, who created the company in the 1990s, made the decision based on the consideration that it was time to consolidate his business when presented with an irresistible offer.
“The Unifrutti Group has announced the acquisition of Verfrut, a leading fresh produce producer and exporter with operations in Chile and Peru. The acquisition supports Unifrutti’s strategy of building a globally diversified premium fruit platform. The acquisition also complements Unifrutti’s product offering by adding a strong platform for table grapes and cherries,” the company said.
Vercellino: “Verfrut is our life”
Founded in 1996 by Romano Vercellino, Verfrut is a major player in the fresh produce industry in Chile and Peru, where it operates 7,500 hectares of integrated agricultural and processing facilities. Its operations include products such as grapes, cherries, apples and blueberries, and it has a distribution network in the United States, the European Union and China.
“This acquisition represents an important step in the expansion of Unifrutti’s integrated and sustainable global multi-fruit business. With the incorporation of Verfrut, Unifrutti becomes a major fruit producer in Chile, one of the largest centers of grape and cherry production in the world, and a leading player in apple production in the southern hemisphere. In addition, this acquisition strategically extends Unifrutti’s reach into Peru,” states a press release.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, including the Chilean National Economic Prosecutor’s Office (Fiscalía Nacional Económica, FNE).
Mohamed Elsarky, CEO of the Unifrutti Group, highlighted the strategic importance of this agreement and stated: “The acquisition of Verfrut is a strategic milestone that drives Unifrutti’s
growth and reinforces our commitment to excellence and innovation. This expansion not only enhances our current operations, but also paves the way for future growth as we aim to become the world’s leading multi-fruit company.”
Romano Vercellino, Founder and President of Verfrut, said: “We are making an excellent decision with this transaction. Verfrut is our life. After many years of hard work in conjunction with our great team, we are confident that Unifrutti will maintain the values that have guided us since the creation of Verfrut. We look forward to the next stage of our successful journey.”
Source: Diario Financiero.