The international produce company Frutura has bought over the Uruguay-based Citrícola Salteña, a leading global supplier and marketer of high-quality citrus and juice.
The new company will now be rebranded Frutura Uruguay and will seek to position itself as a new and significant operator in the citrus activity of the country, according to a press statement. The new acquisition follows that of Peru’s Agrícola Don Ricardo last year.
The buy-over includes 3,000 hectares of citrus plantations, a fruit packing plant for exports, and a citrus fruit processing plant for the production of high-quality juices in the Uruguayan city of Salto.
The main export destinations will be Europe, North and South America, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, it was reported.
This purchase represents a new milestone of growing importance in Latin America for Frutura Inc. which last year also acquired the Peruvian Agrícola Don Ricardo anticipating with this new step important synergies in the region, thanks to its growing global network of customers and strategic partners, the company also pointed out.
Citrícola Salteña filed for bankruptcy in 2019 and the Liga de Defensa Comercial (Lideco) has served as the court-appointed trustee since that time. Frutura was the only bidder to take over Citrícola.
The Uruguayan firm was in the red for approximately US$ 50 million and its main creditor was Banco República (BROU), with US$ 20 million.
“Acquiring these assets and establishing Frutura Uruguay means a lot to me personally and will be a powerful addition in service to our customers,” said David Krause, Frutura’s CEO.
“The company’s reputation for high-quality fruit and history of innovation sold us on this deal. We plan to selectively infuse capital; review existing varietal offerings; and enhance process efficiencies. We expect that each of these moves will be meaningful for Frutura Uruguay’s growth.”
Romain Corneille has been appointed Frutura Uruguay’s new executive director. He has previously served as CEO of Argentina-based San Miguel Global and has deep experience throughout Latin America.
Alejandro Buratovich, who resides in Uruguay and will serve as Frutura’s local representative, has been named CEO. Corneille and Buratovich worked closely together at San Miguel Global and form a well-established and strong team as they guide the business going forward.
One of the team’s priorities will be to build on the environmental heritage of Citrícola Salteña. Uruguay enjoys the protection of both the Atlantic Ocean and the Río de la Plata, making it a fertile ecosystem, naturally well-suited to the cultivation of premium citrus. An abiding commitment to the principles of ESG is foundational at Frutura and remains a keen focus of the company in every country in which it does business.
Citrícola Salteña is also known as a pioneer in introducing innovation and automation to agriculture, including the early adoption of technology in the groves. It continued to invest in agronomic research and was among the first to engineer best-in-class packing, grading, and sorting systems in Uruguay, ensuring superior fruit consistency in size and color.
Frutura Uruguay plans to build on this innovation legacy through the collaboration and exchange of best practices that are part of becoming a Frutura company.