Fresh fruit production and marketing giant Fresh Del Monte Produce (FDM) has agreed to buy out UK-based Fisher Foods Limited's chilled division from the administrative receivers, KPMG.
The acquisition includes three premium facilities dedicated to the handling of chilled fresh-cut fruit, bagged and dressed salads, and fresh-cut vegetables. The purchase will be funded by FDM's existing revolving credit facility and will more than double its fresh-cut revenues.

Building on FDM's US leadership position in the fresh-cut industry segment, the buyout is FDM's first major step into the international fresh-cut market, and effectively positions the company to leverage the power of the Del Monte® brand. It also enables the company to penetrate the rapidly growing, high-margin fresh-cut produce market in the UK, a market that has few competitors of the scale and global capabilities of Fresh Del Monte.

FDM's chairman and CEO Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh explained that this acquisition is important for several reasons: "UK consumers, like their US counterparts, are increasingly demanding the ease and convenience of prepared fruit and vegetables. FDM's expanded presence in this market will allow us to tap into the rapidly growing global market in much the same way as we did in the US."

Abu-Ghazaleh added: "We have already demonstrated our leadership position in the fresh-cut industry segment in the US, and within the last three years we have become a leader in the highly fragmented US market and we look forward to expanding our leadership position on a global basis."