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News 21.04.2016

Peace River Citrus Products Has Agreed To Acquire Louis Dreyfus Company’s U.S. Frozen Retail Juice Packaging Business

Peace River Citrus Products, Inc. (Peace River) and Louis Dreyfus Company Citrus (LDC) have jointly announced that…

Peace River Citrus Products, Inc. (Peace River) and Louis Dreyfus Company Citrus (LDC) have jointly announced that Peace River will acquire LDC’s U.S. frozen retail juice packaging assets and contracts. The transaction is expected to close in May. Other terms of the purchase were not disclosed. The business provides packaged frozen juice products for private label customers, as well as frozen juice packaging services for major juice brands in the United States. Peace River will transition this operation to its packaging facility in LaBelle, FL.

Peace River entered the U.S. frozen retail packaging business with its acquisition of the Citrus Belle operations of A. Duda and Sons in 2009. This included packaging retail frozen orange and allied juices for both private label and major branded customers, as well as foodservice juice packaging. Peace River has continued to expand these businesses and to upgrade its facilities to address the changing demands of its retail and major brand partners. In connection with the acquisition, Peace River and LDC will also enter into a long-term orange juice supply agreement.

Louis Dreyfus Company is a leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods globally. The juice business has been a key pillar of its diverse portfolio for over 25 years, comprising farming, processing and logistics assets in more than seventy countries, with global sales reach for orange, apple, lemon and lime juices and byproducts. The core focus of the business is to produce quality juices to serve and partner with customers around the world.

“About a year and a half ago we started a transformation process for our juice business. We want to focus even more on delivering outstanding value, as well as the highest levels of quality and service to our global customer network, with an emphasis on improving our customer-centricity” said Adrian Isman, Senior Head of Juice and Merchandizing Platforms for Louis Dreyfus Company. “Our premise is that you should work to be the best, not the biggest. LDC is fully committed to the juice business and by improving processes and building efficiencies we are better able to pursue our potential for growth and market leadership.”

This transaction is aligned with LDC’s ongoing business goals to refocus on core business areas while expanding juice sales distribution. As one of the largest suppliers of orange juice in the world, and to North America in particular, LDC will continue operating its Winter Garden facility to serve its customers across the region by offering a variety of fruit juices, sourced from different origins.

Peace River, a privately held company headquartered in Vero Beach, employs over 350 people and is one of the largest juice processors in Florida with citrus groves and processing plants located in the state’s prime citrus growing regions. In addition to its frozen retail packaging business, Peace River supplies bulk concentrate and not-from concentrate juices to both the largest brands and to private label distributors.

"We are very pleased to have the opportunity to add so significantly to the scale of our business, and this acquisition further diversifies our customer base and provides us greater access to value-added markets," said Bill Becker, the CEO and founder of Peace River. "LDC built a very successful frozen retail business and the operation is well known in the marketplace for its superior quality products and service. That will fit very nicely in our business model," said Becker.

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