Surexport believes demand will grow on back of health and convenience trends

Surexport believes demand will grow on back of health and convenience trends

Surexport, the Spain-based berry company that does business across western and central Europe, has sold a majority stake in itself to private-equity firm Alantra to "accelerate our growth plan", according to the strawberry supplier's CEO.

Andrés Morales, Surexport's chief executive, said the deal, struck for an undisclosed sum, will give the company "greater resources to simultaneously execute several organic and inorganic initiatives with the aim of becoming best partners with our clients by granting them an all-year-round supply and a best-in-class service".

From its base in Huelva in Spain, Surexport supplies strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries to European retailers, mainly in the UK, Germany, central Europe and the Benelux markets, as well as to domestic customers.

Surexport's annual turnover stands at around EUR190m (US$231.3m), with more than 80% generated outside Spain. It has production facilities in Spain, Portugal and Morocco.

The company insisted it stands to benefit from the "positive growth prospects for the berry industry", which it described as "one of the fastest-growing categories in the western European fruit-and-vegetable market". Surexport said "healthier consumer habits and convenience trends" will drive higher consumption and it plans to up the availability of its products to cope with year-round demand, as well as offer a "differentiated portfolio of exclusive varieties". The group is also looking to set up a fresh-cut fruit business for its home market.

Bruno Delgado, partner at Alantra Private Equity, said: "We are really impressed by the company's track-record, market positioning, level of innovation and high-degree of professionalisation. Following recent strong investment efforts, Surexport is indeed the best platform to build the European champion in the berry industry."

Alantra's investment portfolio in Spain includes plant-based beverage and broth business Frías Nutrición and seafood supplier Unión Martín.