South Africa’s Westfalia Fruit Group, a fresh and dried fruit supplier specialising in avocados, has signed a deal to acquire a “controlling” stake in German peer Hausladen Fruchthandel.
The transaction for family-owned Hausladen, based in Munich, for which financial terms and the size of the interest were not disclosed, is subject to competition approval.
Westfalia said in a statement the deal aligns with its strategy to “retain and expand its position as a global avocado market leader, and to create shareholder and other stakeholder value, including synergistic benefits across the group’s integrated avocado value chain”.
As well as avocados, the company supplies mangoes, nuts, guacamole and avocado-based oils and mayonnaise to retail and foodservice customers in South Africa, Europe, including the UK, North America and the Latin American markets. It has orchards located in its home country, Mexico, Chile, Columbia, Peru and California in the US.
Westfalia CEO Alk Brand said: "Germany is the third-largest retail avocado market in Europe, which has strong potential for further growth. Our presence in this country is key to penetrating the market, supplying key customers and solidifying our leading EU presence. It also provides an important platform for our key growers globally."
Founded in 1932, Hausladen cultivates avocado, mangoes, papaya and pomegranate supplied to retail customers in Germany, Austria and Slovenia. Christoph Buchner will continue as chief executive of the business once the transaction is approved.
Buchner said: "Westfalia's culture is a good fit for us. As a leading exotics importer, ripener, packer and distributor in Germany, we have developed a strong base of blue-chip retail customers and have enjoyed strong historic growth. This deal provides us with further growth opportunities to become the market leader in Germany and other targeted territories, and gives us access to an established and integrated supply chain with the capacity to expand."