MG Marketing’s (MG) desire to strengthen its citrus programme has prompted the fruit and vegetable supplier to purchase a 30 per cent share in fellow New Zealand-based marketer First Fresh NZ.
The shareholding was acquired from First Fresh’s founder and chairman, Bill Thorpe, who had been signalling his intentions to retire for several months.
Under the terms of the deal, First Fresh will continue to trade in its own right, with the company’s managing director, Ian Albers, saying it was “business as usual” for his firm.
“We are excited to have MG as a shareholder in the company,” Albers explained. “Their input into the strategic direction of the company will be invaluable, along with their strong presence in the wholesale markets throughout New Zealand providing a solid foundation for future growth and enhanced service levels.”
A leading marketer of New Zealand citrus, First Fresh’s portfolio includes Yenben and Meyer lemons, Navel and Valencia oranges, mandarins, tangelos and persimmons.
“Citrus is a major category for MG and we see this as an exciting opportunity to further strengthen our supply base, provide a sustainable platform for citrus growers, enhance growth and value for all involved in the industry,” MG’s chief executive Peter Hendry said.
“MG’s shareholding in First Fresh is a natural extension of what has been a very successful working relationship over many years and we look forward to working with a very capable First Fresh team into the future."