T&G buys Apollo Apples to feed export markets

Last updated 16:10 16/04/2014

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Horticulture marketing and distribution company Turners & Growers has bought Hawke's Bay apple producer Apollo Apples for $36 million.

The Hastings apple-growing company could be paid an extra $8m under the deal if it exports more apples over four years.

Apollo Apples grows, packs and exports about 1.4 million cartons of apples, worth $50m annually,and owns 500 hectares of orchards in Hawke's Bay.

The production facility is based in Whakatu.

Turners & Growers chief executive Alastair Hulbert said the takeover was necessary to serve the needs of increasing export markets.

"This acquisition demonstrates our commitment to further invest in the New Zealand apple industry, improve grower returns and increase New Zealand apple exports."

Apollo Apples complemented Turners & Growers' capabilities as did Apollo's food production subsidiary, Apollo Foods, which Turners & Growers bought a half share of for $1m, Hulbert said.

The acquisition would assist Turners & Growers' marketing arm, Enza, to meet the global demand for southern hemisphere pipfruit, Hulbert said.

Turner & Growers, majority owned by German firm BayWa Aktiengesellschaft, said the Apollo Apple business would continue to be run by Bruce and Ross Beaton.

Bruce Beaton said Turners & Growers offered the investment necessary to make Apollo grow.

Apollo employs close to 120 permanent staff. Turners & Growers said all those staff will be offered roles under its ownership.

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- Fairfax Media

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