Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. has acquired the shares of Desarollo Agroindustrial de Frutales S.A., a producer of bananas in Costa Rica; the shares of Frutas de Exportacion S.A., a major provider of gold pineapples in Costa Rica; and the shares of an affiliated sales and marketing company, collectively known as Caribana. The acquisition cost was $403 million. Fresh Del Monte expects the acquisition to be accretive to earnings in the first year.
Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh, Fresh Del Monte’s chairman and chief executive officer, said, "Caribana is a natural fit with Fresh Del Monte. Their products perfectly mirror those that we currently offer. This transaction substantially increases Del Monte branded banana and Del Monte Gold Extra Sweet pineapple production for us from Central America. Acquiring Caribana dramatically expands our ability to supply high-quality products to our customers in an environment of rapidly rising global demand."
Caribana sells approximately 18 million boxes of bananas annually. In 2007, Fresh Del Monte purchased about 5 million boxes of bananas from Caribana. The acquired gold pineapple production is estimated to be about 11 million boxes per year.
As a result of the acquisition, Fresh Del Monte’s current land holdings in Costa Rica increased by roughly 13,000 hectares of farm land. In the transaction, Fresh Del Monte also acquired state-of-the-art packing facilities, as well as modern farming equipment.