US fruit and vegetable producer Fresh Del Monte Produce has announced that it has acquired Poland-based fresh fruit and vegetable distributor Expans.

Expans, which markets a broad range of produce including bananas, citrus, tomatoes and grapes, had sales of approximately US$110m in 2002 through its distribution facilities across Poland, Fresh Del Monte said.

"This cash acquisition builds on Fresh Del Monte's increasing strength in Europe and positions the company for continued growth in the expanding Central European markets," the company said.

Fresh Del Monte also said the acquisition would enable it to establish a strong foundation in Poland and the broader European region, and to export fresh vegetables from Poland to Fresh Del Monte's distribution facilities and fresh-cut operations in the United Kingdom and Northern Europe.