Irish fruit and vegetable distributor Fyffes today (15 December) announced plans to detach its property assets from its primary fresh produce business and form a new company, Bluestone Properties Plc.

Bluestone will have initial net assets of approximately €€200m (US$440m) comprising of properties to the value of €180m and net cash of €20m.

Fyffes will enter into arms-length lease agreements with Bluestone concerning the properties that it currently uses. These rental commitments are expected to reduce Fyffes annual adjusted earnings by approximately €0.008 per share.

The company intends to seek shareholder approval after relevant documentation is provided in March. "It is anticipated that the demerger will occur in 2006, after shareholder approval is granted," a spokesperson for Fyffes told just-food. "Fyffes will then formerly seek to list Bluestone on the AIM market in London and IEX in Dublin."