German agricultural giant BayWa's proposed NZ$137.4m (€79.3m) takeover of Guinness Peat Group's majority shareholding in New Zealand fresh produce company Turners & Growers (T&G) has been heralded by chief executive and board chairman Klaus Josef Lutz as "a ground-breaking step" in its corporate development.
The deal, which is subject to shareholder approval, stands to give BayWa a significant boost in terms of its global reach, Lutz argued, with T&G's presence on five continents enabling it to expand its offering in the fruit business and to access global growth markets, particularly in Asia.
"The takeover is a ground-breaking step towards globalisation for BayWa," he commented. "We will become one of the world's most important suppliers of fruit, as Turners & Growers is represented in all key markets on all continents."
He continued: "The door to Asia, the highest growth market for fruit, is now wide open for BayWa's fruit trading business."
The acquisition, announced via the New Zealand stock exchange, is expected to considerably strengthen BayWa's already highly successful and profitable agricultural business, which accounts for just below half of its annual revenues, reported to be around €8bn.
"The takeover of New Zealand's leading fruit trader will also allow us to expand our domestic fruit business," Lutz suggested. "The different harvesting seasons in the various countries means that we will now be able to supply food retailers in Germany throughout the whole year.
Fruit farmers already working with BayWa in Germany would also benefit from the takeover through improved sales and distribution opportunities for their products, he said, adding that BayWa planned to work closely with growers in New Zealand to increase volumes and improve returns.
"We will deliver proof of our knowhow and of our close collaboration with producers in New Zealand based on a partnership approach, just as we do in Germany," he promised.