news_item_4Turners & Growers Limited (“T&G”) announced today the acquisition of Bay of Plenty tomato grower Great Lake Tomatoes Limited (“Great Lake”) and Waikato tomato grower Rianto Limited (“Rianto”).

 “Earlier this year we launched our strategic pillars with Covered Crops being singled out as a strong category for us. These acquisitions enable us to look at further sales opportunities in New Zealand and also our international markets,” says T&G Chief Executive Alastair Hulbert.

 Rianto, through its subsidiary Rembrandt Van Rijen Limited, is a family owned tomato grower in Ohaupo, Waikato.  Rianto owns and operates a 3.13Ha glasshouse facility producing approximately 1,600 tonnes of tomatoes annually, with a particular focus on the winter season. Its assets which are to be acquired also include a residential property and a total of 18.8Ha of land (including the glasshouse operations).  The total purchase price is estimated to be $8.5million.

 Great Lake is a tomato grower based in Reporoa, Bay of Plenty and owns and operates a 4.9Ha glasshouse facility producing approximately 3,000 tonnes of tomatoes annually, with a particular focus on the summer season.  Its assets which are to be acquired also include 74.4Ha of land (including the glasshouse operations).  The total purchase price is estimated to be $17.3million.

 Anthony Stone, T&G Covered Crops Manager notes that not only does it fit with T&G’s strategic direction but it is a great opportunity to provide T&G’s customers with a greater surety of supply, through this geographical spread of production facilities and to better service T&G’s customers’ needs.

“Our T&G Covered Crops business supplies mainly to Australasia but with Great Lake and Rianto on board we can look to improve capability to develop both our domestic and export markets. Great Lake and Rianto have a wealth of knowledge and expertise that we will be able to utilise alongside our own operations.”

Ton Zwetsloot, the managing director and majority shareholder of Great Lake and Frank van Rijen, the managing director and owner of Rianto, have both committed to continuing involvement with the respective businesses and to assist the T&G Covered Crops business.

 “This is a great opportunity for our people to work with a business who will be well placed to fulfil their growth potential. We will be working together to ensure continued quality of product and service to our customers,” says Mr Zwetsloot.

 Mr van Rijen has been working with T&G for many years utilising T&G’s packing and marketing channels and is happy to continue working with T&G.

“We have been a largely exclusive supplier to T&G for as long as I can remember operating with full transparency, I think they understand our business as well as we do. Over that time T&G has been very successful in building relationships with key customers and delivering real value back to our business, so it seems natural that T&G be the next rightful owners and continue its momentum.

 I am truly looking forward to working with T&G to help refine its business plans and work toward further growth of our industry and continuing to achieve value back to producers – these are exciting times,” says Mr van Rijen.

Both acquisitions are subject to consent being obtained under the Overseas Investment Act.  T&G expects completion of each acquisition to occur on or before 1 July 2015.