Avocado specialist Westfalia Fruit is to acquire a controlling stake in Hausladen Fruchthandel, a family-owned fruit supplier headquartered in Munich, Germany.
Founded in 1932, Hausladen has a strong presence in Germany with exotics such as avocado, mango, papaya and pomegranate as well as southern European produce. The company is also active in neighbouring markets including Austria and Slovenia.
Westfalia said the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, would help it retain and expand its position as a global avocado market leader, and create shareholder and other stakeholder value, including synergistic benefits across the group’s integrated avocado value chain.
“Germany is the third largest retail avocado market in Europe which has strong potential for further growth,” said Westfalia CEO Alk Brand.
“Our presence in this country is key to penetrating the market, supplying key customers and solidifying our leading EU presence. It also provides an important platform for our key growers globally. We are excited to welcome Hausladen to our global family and recognise the considerable experience and standing of such a successful and respected operation.”
The founding family, including Andreas and Christoph Buchner, will remain in the business, with Christoph continuing as CEO of the German entity.
“Westfalia’s culture is a good fit for us,” said Buchner, “particularly with its focus on putting ‘family first’.
“As a leading exotics importer, ripener, packer and distributor in Germany, we have developed a strong base of blue-chip retail customers and have enjoyed strong historic growth.
“This deal provides us with further growth opportunities to become the market leader in Germany and other targeted territories, and gives us access to an established and integrated supply chain with the capacity to expand.”