North American produce trader and marketer Oppy has seen a significant change of ownership this month, albeit planned, with Ireland-based Total Produce increasing its holdings in the group from 35% to 65%.
The increase was part of an anticipated second stage of its purchase of shares in Oppy, and was completed on March 1 at a price of €28.4 million (£24.3 million).
In a release, Oppy said concurrent with this transaction New Zealand-based T&G Global boosted its shareholding in David Oppenheimer and Company, Oppy’s U.S. subsidiary, from 15% to 39.4%.
Additionally, in a separate transaction Oppy has purchased 50% of Delica North America Inc., the legal name of T&G’s U.S.-based export business T&G North America.
Oppy, T&G and Total Produce now all also share an interest in David Oppenheimer Transport, Inc., with Oppy continuing as the majority owner.
Oppy said these developments linked the three companies in an “unprecedented global supply chain”, jointly operating in North and South America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and throughout Europe.
It is worth noting as well that T&G itself is majority owned by German agriculture, horticulture and renewable energy company BayWa, and Chinese company Joy Wing Mau has a minority interest in the New Zealand-based company as well.
The relationship will aim to optimise exports and supply chain synergies beyond T&G’s and Oppy’s currently shared portfolio which features premium New Zealand-bred apples Jazz, Pacific Rose and Envy.
“We are very pleased to increase our shareholding in Oppy and for Oppy and Total Produce to strengthen ties with T&G Global. We look forward to continuing to work with John Anderson in Oppy, Alastair Hulbert in T&G and their teams in the coming years to further build on the success of Oppy and Delica North America,” said Total Produce chairman Carl McCann.
T&G Global CEO Alastair Hulbert said T&G Global had enjoyed a strong and successful partnership with Oppy and its management team for many years and looked forward to working closer with the team and with Total Produce.
“Our increased shareholding recognises the growing importance we place on the U.S. market for our Jazz and Envy PVR apple brands and the vital role Oppy is playing in this success,” he said.
“Aligning our U.S. export business, T&G Global North America, with Oppy will enable T&G Global to present grower suppliers to both U.S. and international customers and further strengthen its ability to service and support the needs of these U.S. domestic and international customers.”
Oppy chairman, president and CEO John Anderson noted T&G and Oppy had enjoyed a relationship since 1956—starting in the early days of New Zealand fruit exports to North America—and he has worked with them directly throughout his 42-year career.
“T&G’s increased shareholding in Oppy facilitates growth in our apple category, as well as others, and give us the opportunity to expand our export offerings,” said Anderson, who will continue to lead Oppy in his current role.
“The combination of the three organisations will extend the benefits of shared expertise, products, and supply chain to our global customers.
“We are pleased to integrate even more deeply with Total Produce, with whom we have experienced a vibrant and productive relationship while operating autonomously since our partnership began in 2013. It will continue to be ‘business as usual’ for customers and growers interacting with Oppy, we’ll just have more to offer than ever before.”