Turners & Growers Limited announced today the proposed acquisition of Hawkes Bay-based Apollo Apples for an initial payment of NZ$36.05million.
The acquisition of Apollo, which grows, packs and exports approximately 1.4m cartons of apples every year and owns or leases over 500 planted hectares of apple orchards in the Hawke’s Bay, forms a key part of Turners & Growers’ global growth strategy.
It will assist Turners & Growers’ ENZA business to meet, in part, the global demand for southern hemisphere supply and enable Apollo Apples to grow its key markets. Apollo also owns and operates a large packhouse and coolstore facility in Whakatu, Hastings.
Turners & Growers CEO Alastair Hulbert, said while the acquisition was subject to approval by the Overseas Investment Office (OIO), it marked a major milestone for the company.
“We are delighted that Apollo has agreed to join our Turners & Growers pipfruit team. Apollo is well respected within the industry and is perfectly aligned to our Turners & Growers pipfruit business strategy with its complementary skills, networks and capabilities.”
“This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to further invest in the NZ apple industry, improve grower returns and increase NZ apple exports. We need to serve the demand of a greater number of export customers and markets. We welcome the Apollo team to the Turners & Growers family and look forward to working together.”
Bruce Beaton, Managing Director of Apollo Apples said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to continue Apollo’s growth strategy. Apollo has witnessed the improvements at ENZA since BayWa invested in Turners & Growers.
“We welcome such supportive shareholders who can support the investment we require to grow Apollo. We look forward to contributing to the combined success of Apollo and ENZA and the further benefits this brings to our orchard landlords, third party growers, customers and dedicated employees.”
As part of the negotiations, Turners & Growers will also purchase a 50% shareholding in Apollo Foods Limited, a small processed apple foods business. This will complement an existing T&G food processing company – ENZAfoods.
Apollo Apples will continue to operate under the leadership of Bruce and Ross Beaton.
Apollo employs approximately 120 permanent staff and its head office is based in Whakatu in Hastings.
Completion is subject to certain conditions including consent to the acquisition being obtained under the Overseas Investment Act and the assignment of certain material contracts. The last of these conditions is expected to be satisfied within the coming months.