Mahindra Agri Solutions, part of the US$17.8bn Mahindra Group, has signed a definitive agreement to buy a 60 per cent stake in the Netherlands-based OFD Holding BV, the holding company for the distribution of fruits globally.
According to MASL, it has a vision of being among top global players in grapes with transnational sourcing and distribution network.
This acquisition is seen as a step towards realising this vision, by expanding the sourcing base to South American countries and South Africa as well as expanding the distribution base to both Europe and China.
OFD Holding BV owns Origin Fruit Direct, Origin Direct Asia and Origin Fruit Services South America which are based out of Netherlands, China and Chile respectively.
“It is a matter of great pride for us that we have entered into a partnership with OFD Holding BV, which takes us closer to achieving our vision of being a significant global player in grapes," said Ashok Sharma, president agribusiness and managing director & CEO at Mahindra Agri Solutions.
"We have been working with farmers in India for a very long time and this association will bring in a lot of synergy by giving access to new markets to our farmers," he said. "This is in line with Mahindra’s long term vision of delivering farmtech prosperity and will provide our farmers with better returns.”
“Our investment into OFD Holding BV gives us a presence in the European and Chinese markets, allowing us to reach new customers and strengthen our relationship with existing customers," noted Vikram Puri, executive vice-president at Mahindra Agri Solutions. "We are very proud to be associated with such a well-balanced and experienced professional team at OFD Holding BV and look forward to growing and building our grapes business together with them.”
Corné van de Klundert, managing director of OFD Holding BV & Origin Fruit Direct BV, said his company was very excited with the investment by Mahindra.
"This will strengthen our position as an integrated supply chain company," outlined van de Klundert. "OFD was founded in 2006 as the sales operation of a South African producer, and has since developed a network of key retail customers in Europe as well as Asia.
"India is an increasingly important supplier of grapes to our markets and Mahindra is one of the largest exporters, which is giving us access to a growing volume of excellent quality grapes. We are looking forward to intensifying our cooperation with the Mahindra team and the growers, to jointly develop innovations, new markets and customers.”
This deal is set to benefit both the companies; Origin Fruits with their strong distribution channel will open up global markets for the Indian farmers and Mahindra will contribute through their strong farmer connect and agronomy expertise.
Origin Fruit Direct’s (OFD) presence in grapes and citrus fruits naturally mitigates seasonality through round-the-year presence across markets and sources. Mahindra and OFD already have a supplier-customer relationship which shall be further strengthened to address the market needs.
This acquisition gives access to large sourcing base to both the companies across the globe such as India, South American countries and South Africa as well as a distribution base in Europe (biggest importer contributing 24 per cent of global imports of grapes) and China (fastest growing importer with 31 per cent CAGR).