Calavo Growers has acquired Hawaiian Sweet and Hawaii Pride, papaya and tropical-product packing and processing operations.

Calavo’s chairman, president and CEO Lee E. Cole previously owned these operations.

Hawaiian Sweet and Hawaii Pride pack an estimated 65-70% of all Hawaiian-grown papayas.

The total purchase price ranges from US$10m to $14m, subject to meeting certain operating-performance targets through 31 May 2009.

Calavo indicated that it will finance the all-cash transaction under existing credit facilities.

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Commenting on the deal, COO Arthur J. Bruno said: “The company anticipates increasing Hawaiian Sweet and Hawaiian Pride revenues and earnings, which we believe offer room for substantial growth as we further invest in the category.”

The avocado and fresh produce group also reported that it has appointed Michael Lippold, a food-industry securities analyst, as director of strategic development, a newly-created position.

The company said that these moves were in-line with its target to achieve 25% revenue growth by the 2013 fiscal year.