Finland-based vegetable supplier Apetit has announced it is to sell its fresh cuts products business to Sweden’s Greenfood for EUR13.8m (US$15.4m).

Apetit said it had been unable to make the business profitable.

The company said it will recognise a non-recurring sales gain of around EUR2m after taxes from the transaction in the second half of 2019.

Greenfood is an importer, distributor and processor of fruit and vegetables. In Finland it already owns Salico, Satotukku, Picadeli and Snackpoint. Salico is a supplier of fresh cut fruit and vegetable products to the foodservice and retail channels and fast food chains. Satotukku is also a fresh produce supplier while Picadeli is a health food store group and Snackpoint is a snack food manufacturer.

The deal with Apetit covers a plant in Kivikko in Helsinki, including machinery and equipment. The employees of Apetit’s fresh cuts products business operations will transfer to Salico.

Juha Vanhainen, the CEO of Apetit, said: “Apetit has recently made significant investments in improving the efficiency and, consequently, the profitability of its fresh cut products business operations. However, there is considerable competition in the fresh cut products market in Finland, and we have been unable to make these business operations profitable sufficiently quickly.

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“Due to this, we have decided to sell our fresh cut products business operations to a strong international operator with the capacity to further develop these operations on a larger scale. The transaction is expected to improve Apetit’s profitability.”

David von Laskowski, CEO of Greenfood, added: “The acquisition of Apetit’s fresh cut products business operations offers us an opportunity to grow in Finland. We believe that, combined with our international expertise, this business transfer will create significant added value for the fresh cut products business operations, as well as strengthening their cost-competitiveness in particular.”

Apetitit announced in May that Vanhainen would be leaving the business on 31 August, to be replaced as CEO by Esa Mäki from local meat processor HKScan.

In November last year it revealed it had sold a sales unit in an attempt to sharpen its focus on its core business.

Net sales in 2018 of EUR283.1m were down on 2017’s EUR311.8m figure.