UK-headquartered private-equity firm Cinven is set to go ahead with the sale of its Spanish fresh berry supplier Planasa.

Sources close to the process have confirmed to Just Food the shareholders have decided to kick off the sale process of Planasa, based on improving market conditions.

Last month, Spanish publication El Economista reported that Jorge Quemada, who runs the Spanish division of Cinven, has brought in law firm Pérez-Llorca as legal advisor for the competitive process. Pérez-Llorca could not be reached to confirm the news.

JP Morgan has been mandated to manage the sales process, sources close to the operation confirmed.

The value of Planasa could vary anywhere between €1bn ($1.09bn) and €1.3bn ($1.42bn), according to El Economista. The publication listed six potential buyers including fellow private-equity firms CVC, Bain or PAI Partners.

The divestment is expected to be completed by the end of August.

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By GlobalData

Cinven acquired the berry business in 2017 for a deal worth €450m (then $523m) and stated at the time that berries represented an attractive growth category given the growing interest among consumers in the link between diet and health.

With headquarters in Valtierra, Planasa supplies fresh produce to retailers around the world, as well as seeds and plants to farmers. It also specialises in plant research and nursery.

The company employs circa 4,000 people with a presence in 25 countries and supplies customers globally from production facilities across Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia. Planasa also offers garlic, endive and avocado.

In 2021, the major berry business recorded year-on-year sales growth of 19% as it introduced new blueberry and blackberry varieties. The Americas region accounted for more than 45% of the group’s turnover.