US fruit and vegetable producer Fresh Del Monte Produce has announced that it has completed its acquisition of Del Monte Foods Europe.

Fresh Del Monte had previously announced its intention to acquire the company in July 2004. It acquired Del Monte Foods Europe for approximately US$340m in cash, financed primarily through the company's credit facility.

Del Monte Foods Europe is a producer, marketer and distributor of processed fruit and vegetables, juices, snacks and desserts. The company holds a perpetual, royalty-free license to use the Del Monte brand for processed and/or canned foods in more than 100 countries throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

"We are extremely pleased to complete the acquisition of Del Monte Foods Europe," said chairman and CEO Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh.

"The acquisition establishes a significant new growth platform for Fresh Del Monte in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and it provides a unique opportunity for our enterprise to leverage the tremendous potential of the Del Monte brand across a wide range of high-growth markets. Moreover, the acquisition allows us to continue to diversify our business across products and geographies in order to drive long-term shareholder value," he added.