BELGIUM – Greenyard, one of the largest suppliers of fruit and vegetables in the world, has signed an agreement for the divestment of its horticulture segment with Straco for a total consideration of US$141 million.
According to the company, it has taken this decisive actions towards a refocus and a strengthened balance sheet, further to receiving the strong support from their lenders.
With the divestment of the Horticulture segment, Greenyard is on track with its deleveraging actions.
Based on the ongoing deleveraging and improvement plans and in agreement with the lenders, Greenyard will secure the necessary means for the repayment of the US$176.54 million retail bond that is maturing next July 2019.
Greenyard Horticulture is a market leader in Belgium, France, Poland and Ukraine for growing media and mushroom substrates, exporting to more than 60 countries with 14 facilities in Europe and Russia.
Pursuant to the agreement, all operations and assets of Greenyard Horticulture will be transferred to Straco.
Both parties will explore how to further develop concepts of sustainable growing of healthy and tasteful produce, creating a healthy future for all.
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Straco for the divestment of our Horticulture segment.
Straco shares our belief in the importance of good quality substrates and growing media to secure sustainable and healthy fruit and vegetables in the future.
As such, we are convinced that Straco will be a good home for our Horticulture segment.
Today, our focus is needed on improving profitability again and on deleveraging our balance sheet,” said Hein Deprez, Greenyard’s CEO.
“In our two other segments (Fresh and Long Fresh), our strategy to build strong relationships with its customers remains intact.
We remain keen on cooperating with growers and retailers to develop with them new concepts that create value for all parties in the chain.
This reorientation towards our Fresh and Long Fresh segments will allow more focused management’s attention and a faster implementation of impactful operational improvement actions for internal profitable growth.
We feel that this divestment is an important step towards a stronger Greenyard.
Furthermore, the divestment of the Horticulture segment, in combination with the agreement with the lenders and the ongoing deleveraging and improvement plans, will secure Greenyard of the necessary means for the repayment of the retail bond in the summer of next year”, added Hein Deprez.
The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of accounting year 2018/19 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.