Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed, but Nutrano is understood to be buying most of the properties owned by Seven Fields and Abbotsleigh, equating to combined plantings of around 1,000 ha.
Abbotsleigh general manager Michael McMahon told Australian broadcaster ABC: “Abbotsleigh Citrus will become part of Seven Fields, which is our sister company, we like to think of it as.”
He said the deal would inject capital into the business and provide an opportunity to expand. “Nutrano don’t want to stop here. They’ve got big plans for the future,” McMahon said. “Being one with Seven Fields will also bring a lot of synergies that we haven’t been able to achieve as separate businesses.”
Abbotsleigh teamed up with Seven Fields in 2014 to have all of their citrus production marketed by Seven Fields. Abbotsleigh said the volume and geographic spread of produce supplied through the partnership allowed the producer to “offer our customers quality citrus for the length of the Australian citrus season”.
Nutrano was launched last February following the acquisition of the Oakville Produce Group’s banana division. The group said its focus is on category lines including bananas, tomatoes, berries, avocados and mangoes.
CEO Chaise Pensini said at the group’s launch that it would focus on “nurturing all areas of the fruit supply chain (and) we will continue to invest in our core product categories in order add value to our domestic and global retail partners”.