Investor-backed Surexport Compañía Agraria has added to the fruit grower’s portfolio with three acquisitions in the fresh berries segment.
Huelva, Spain-based Surexport, which produces and supplies strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, has bought local peer Flor de Doñana, AG Group in Morocco and Portugal’s Solana Fruits, supported by private-equity investors.
Alantra Private Equity, which acquired a majority interest in Surexport in 2020, said in a statement the deals were supported by co-investors Keyhaven Capital Partners, headquartered in London, and Spain-based Oquendo Capital.
The “highly strategic add-on acquisitions” will bolster Surexport’s “leadership position in a highly fragmented industry, broaden its production capabilities in core geographies, complement the company’s product offering and boost all-year-round product availability to serve top European retailers,” Alantra said.
It added: “With a diversified geographical footprint across Spain, Portugal, and Morocco, the company [Surexport] has longstanding relationships with tier-one European food retailers and best-in-class logistics and processing capabilities”.
Together, the fruit producer’s generated €220m ($233.9m) in revenues in the 2022-23 financial year from 1,600 hectares of agricultural land, Alantra said. That is expected to reach €300m in the next three years.
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Financial terms for the transactions were not disclosed.
In a separate statement from Keyhaven, Ángel Manotas, a managing director at Alantra, said: “Prior to entering the company’s shareholding we identified inorganic growth as a key strategic pillar for Surexport to become the largest European producer of fresh berries.
“In this sense, we decided to partner alongside Keyhaven and other co-investors to support Surexport as the leading platform to successfully consolidate a highly fragmented sector.”
Solana, based in Olhão in the Algarve, previously traded as Hubel Agricola. The company grows the same range of berries as Surexport. Ag Group specialises in blueberries while Flor de Doñana, also located in Huelva, grows organic berries.
Teddy Mouawad, a partner at Keyhaven, said: “We are thrilled to be partnering with Alantra to support the growth strategy of Surexport, led by the CEO and founder, Andrés Morales, alongside a strengthened management team.
“The completion of the three add-on acquisitions marks a significant milestone in the company’s evolution, putting Surexport in a prime position as a clear European industry leader.”
The global berries and fruit sector has seen a raft of M&A and merger deals of late, the most recent of which was Frutura Produce in California snapping up US-based Sun Belle and Giddings Fruit in Chile.
Spain’s Planasa also took full control of its China blueberry subsidiary Meiming. Planasa itself was acquired by German family-owned investment company EW Group in September.
In September, Viru Group acquired US frozen fruit and vegetable peer Superior Foods International and Grupo Hame bought Peru’s Agrokasa. And back in July, Spanish citrus fruit growers and suppliers, Guillem Export and Frutas Tono, also merged.