Merger will provide "platform for long-term growth", Whitworths claims

Merger will provide "platform for long-term growth", Whitworths claims

Turkish wholesaler Anatolia has acquired Whitworths, the UK's largest supplier of dried fruit, nut and seed products, for an undisclosed sum.

It was reported by just-food last month that Whitworths had been put up for sale by UK private-equity group Equistone.

Anatolia, a processor, supplier and packer of dried fruits and nuts, has bought Whitworths' entire share capital, according to a statement issued by the UK business today (16 May). 

The statement said the companies will merge to "form one of Europe's biggest dried fruit, nut and seeds businesses". The deal will provide a "platform for long-term growth, leveraging the capability of Whitworths, as the UK's leading supplier of dried fruit, nuts and seeds, with the sourcing and packing capability of Anatolia on Turkish-grown product". 

"The new business will create the opportunity to invest in the growth of the Whitworths brand both in the UK and internationally, as well as investing in the appropriate packing facilities to meet the long-term needs of our key retail customers and their brands," the statement said.

The deal "provides the joint business with a unique position in the market to deliver supply chain integrity from producer to consumer on key areas of dried fruit", according to the statement.

Whitworths current management will continue to lead the UK business, the statement said. The merger "is the final step in a trading relationship dating back 38 years, which includes a successful working partnership over the last 27 years".

The company said there would be no further comment.

Equistone purchased a majority stake in Whitworths in 2013 from European Capital in a transaction then valuing the business at GBP90m (US$116m)

The private-equity firm had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.