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January 29, 2021

Chilean fruit group David Del Curto majority stake sold to Manulife Investment Management

A global, Chile-based fruit exporter has sold a majority stake in the company to a Canadian asset manager.

By Dean Best

Manulife Investment Management’s Hancock Natural Resource Group (HNRG) has wrapped up the acquisition of a majority stake in Chilean fruit exporter David Del Curto (DDC), on behalf of its third-party clients.

Financial details of the deal remain undivulged.

Based in Chile, David Del Curto produces more than ten types of fruits across its 11 farms. In addition to fruit production, the company also packs the fruits and exports them to other countries.

DDC operates three packing facilities with a capacity of nine million boxes of fruit. It packs and markets fruit for nearly 90 third-party growers, as well as fruits from its own farms.

Additionally, the fruit producer manages one of the largest nurseries in Chile.

DDC CEO Fernando Cisternas said: “By joining the Manulife Investment Management and HNRG team, we are able to rely on their extensive agricultural experience to expand our operations and further the reach of the firm. We feel the acquisition will bring tremendous additional resources to our teams and partners.” Under the deal, Cisternas will oversee day-to-day operations.

The acquisition could help HNRG to diversify its growing agricultural portfolio. HNRG CEO William E Peressini said: "We are very excited to work on the ownership transition with the strong DDC management team that is already in place and value The Corso Group's continuing partnership.

"We will also work closely with the existing teams on land stewardship which we anticipate will include redeveloping existing orchards and developing those orchards that have not been under cultivation.

"Through these efforts we will look to expand DDC's production, as well as enhance existing and new marketing partnerships, to create additional opportunity."

The Corso Group, the investment unit of the Cortés Solari family office that acquired an ownership stake of DDC in 2005, will maintain a minority shareholding in the firm.

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