Santiago, Chile-headquartered Hortifrut, a major producer and marketer of frozen and fresh berries [it ranks first globally in blueberry sales, and second in overall berry sales], and Alifrut, a subsidiary of Duncan Fox and the largest processor and exporter of frozen fruits and vegetables in Chile [sold under the Minuto Verde proprietary brand as well as private labels], have signed an agreement to combine their frozen products businesses to further develop sales in international markets throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania.
The transaction’s due diligence process is scheduled to end in March of 2020. Thereafter details of the deal and will be submitted to the National Economic Prosecutor’s Office (NEP) in Chile for review. Upon approval, five frozen production plants and corresponding fixed assets will be transferred to a new entity capable of turning out close to 35 million kilos per annum. This level of volume will make it the largest exporting company in the country.
The new organization will handle direct distribution to customers through Hortifrut’s global commercial platforms and Alifrut’s industrial and commercial expertise as a multi-product frozen processor. This will allow the company to manage a large part of the business value chain, thus ensuring better quality and food safety, greater stability in supply and a varied multi-product offer.
Plans on the drawing board call for construction of a state-of-the-art production plant in Peru to boost exports from that country and take advantage of synergies within the growing fields and among producers with which Hortifrut has well established working relationships. Additionally, investments will be made in Chile to increase the efficiency, logistics and profitability of existing production plants. Elsewhere, Hortifrut’s commercial presence will be strengthened in the United States to reach more customers with a wider range of products.
“Thanks to this partnership, Hortifrut consolidates and strengthens its leadership as a global business platform, complementing its offer of value-added products in this integration with Alifrut, the largest frozen fruit and vegetable production company in the country,” said Juan Ignacio Allende, Hortifrut’s chief executive officer. “Our dream and our goal are to become world leaders in healthy, innovative and value-added food solutions.”
“For Alifrut, this is a strategic step that will allow us to improve the value chain of our exports and strengthen the company’s international projection. This association will allow us to have direct access to the world’s main clients and thus meet the specific needs of new consumer trends, such as fruit mixes, fruit and vegetable mixes, smoothies, new flavors, recipes, personalized nutritional products and new packaging and formats, among other innovations,” said Alifrut CEO Gonzalo Bachelet.