Frucor buys Simply Squeezed

BY GARETH VAUGHAN
Last updated 11:53 07/07/2009
V drink and Mizone
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MORE JUICE: Frucor Beverages, whose brands include Just Juice, V and Fresh Up, is buying rival Simply Squeezed Holdings.

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Frucor Beverages, whose brands include Just Juice, V and Fresh Up, is buying rival Simply Squeezed Holdings for an undisclosed sum pending Commerce Commission approval.

Originally part of the New Zealand Apple & Pear Marketing Board, Frucor was itself bought by Japan's Suntory Group from France's Groupe Danone for about $1.4 billion in February.

Frucor said today it was delighted to have the chance to add the Simply Squeezed, Supreme, Allganics and Bay Harvest brands to its stable.

Frucor, which also makes Mizone and Frank drinks, said it had been in talks with Simply Squeezed for a few months.

"Simply Squeezed has demonstrated strong growth and consistent profitability for many years despite aggressive competition, which is a real credit to them," Frucor's New Zealand CEO Carl Bergstrom said.

He said the acquisition would see Simply Squeezed enter the Frucor fold with "minimal" changes for the staff, orchardists who supply fruit and distributors.

Simply Squeezed would remain based in the Hawke's Bay where it was founded in 1991 by Steve Brownlie. Australian private equity firm Crescent Capital Partners bought 60 percent of Simply Squeezed from Brownlie in 2006.

Frucor said the deal was subject to Commerce Commission clearance.

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