Futuregrowth seeks to acquire Fruitone as Two-a-Day eyes Appletiser owned Associated Fruit

SOUTH AFRICA – Futuregrowth, a specialist asset management company in South Africa operating within the Old Mutual Limited, has received green light from the Competition Commission to acquire 18.75% stake in Fruitone, South African citrus grower and exporter.

Acquisition of the minority stake will be undertaken through Futuregrowth’s agri-fund, specializing in the investment of agricultural land, biological assets, agriculture infrastructure and other related farming implements.

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Fruitone, wholly owned by Boyes Group Holdings Proprietary Limited (Holdco), oversees and manages the production of lemons, limes, star ruby grapefruit, marsh grapefruit, valencia oranges and Tango soft citrus on a number of estates in Limpopo province.

The Commission found that the proposed transaction is unlikely to result in a substantial prevention or lessening of competition in any relevant markets.

The Commission further found that the proposed transaction does not raise any public interest concerns and recommended that the Competition Tribunal approve the proposed transaction.

Still in South Africa’s fruit sector, Two-a-Day, previously named Elgin Fruit Packers Co-operative Limited seeks to acquire industry peer Associated Fruit.

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Two-a-Day incorporated in 1948 is one of the leading fruit growing, packing and marketing companies on the African continent, comprising of more than 50 farms owned by the principle shareholders.

It is involved in the production and sale of apple, pear and grape fruits and its juice concentrates for leading brands of fruit juice, cider and baby food, both locally and internationally.

 It also produces pomace and aromas on behalf of its shareholders and external fruit producers.

The group is currently exporting 6 300 000 cartons of apples and pears per year, and we also supply the local market with 2 900 000 cartons of apples and pears per annum.

Its acquisition of Associated Fruit is aimed to expand its operations as the subsidiary of Appletiser South Africa is involved in the production of clear apple concentrate, pear juice concentrate, cloudy apple juice aromas and pomace manufactured from locally sourced fresh fruit.

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The Commission also found that the proposed transaction is unlikely to result in a substantial prevention or lessening of competition in any relevant markets and further found that the proposed transaction does not raise any public interest concerns.

Fruit farming is one of the leading agricultural activities in South Africa with fruits comprising more than 50% of the country’s agricultural exports.

Figures from Fruit South Africa indicated that more than 4.7 million tons of fruit are produced in South Africa of which 59% is exported, 28% is used for processing and 12% sold locally.

Citrus, at 55%, forms the bulk of South African fruit production, while pome and stone fruit, 34%, table grapes, 6%, exotics and nuts, 5%, fill the rest of South Africa’s fruit basket.

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