AUSTRALIA – Austrian ingredients producer Agrana has extended its presence in Africa by acquiring 49% of Elafruits, an Algerian producer of fruit preparations.

Located in Akbou, around 200 km east of Algiers, Elafruits has a workforce of around 100 and generated revenues of approximately US$8.16 million in its 2017 financial year.

The company reported that besides producing standard fruit preparations for yogurts and ice creams, Elafruits also makes fruit purées and bases for the beverage industry.

Agrana said that Algeria is a strategically important market for the company and it has “the highest per capita consumption of fruit preparations for yogurts in the region”.

Agrana now has 29 production sites in 21 countries, employing 8,700 people.

“This acquisition is another move to consolidate our leading global position in fruit preparations,” said Johann Marihart, Agrana CEO.

“The existing product portfolio and the option of expanding our production capacity close to major customers will accelerate Agrana’s growth in North Africa.”

Agrana’s fruit preparations contain fruit which is either puréed or diced in order to be used in dairy products or in ice cream and bakery products.

In addition to the food processing industry, Agrana also supplies its fruit preparations to fast food companies and food service providers

Earlier this year the company announced a US$116.5 million investment at its Pischelsdorf facility in Lower Austria as it aims to build a second wheat starch production line, increasing the site’s annual processing capacity from 800,000 tonnes to over 1 million tonnes.