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Munich-based BayWa AG is entering the international fruit trading business in New Zealand and plans to acquire 63 percent of Turners & Growers from its major shareholder, London-based Guinness Peat Group Plc. Following the acquisition, BayWa would become a leading worldwide supplier of pipfruit.

BayWa has already agreed to the purchase of 63 percent of the issued shares in T&G held by the main shareholder GPG. As required by New Zealand takeover regulations, the acquisition will be made as part of a takeover offer to acquire up to 100 percent of the issued share capital of T&G at a price of NZ$ 1.85 per share. The purchase price range will be between NZ$ 137 million and NZ$ 216 million, or between US$107 million and US$170 million, depending on the level of acceptances by T&G shareholders. The transaction is conditional on approval from the German Federal Cartel Office and the New Zealand Overseas Investment Office.

T&G's presence on five continents will enable BayWa AG to expand its offering in the fruit business and to access global growth markets, particularly Asia, where T&G is already established.

"The takeover is a ground-breaking step towards globalization for BayWa," Klaus Josef Lutz, chief executive officer of BayWa, said in a Nov. 9 press release. "We will become one of the world's most important suppliers of fruit, as Turners & Growers is represented in all key markets on all continents. The door to Asia, the highest growth market for fruit, is now wide open for BayWa's fruit trading business."

T&G is New Zealand's market leader in the export and domestic distribution of dessert fruit. In addition, the company holds the exclusive brand rights for the global cultivation and sale of the Jazz and Envy apple varieties and the ENZAGreen, ENZAGold and ENZARed kiwi varieties. Furthermore, the company holds a 70 percent stake in Delica NZ, New Zealand's largest diversified exporter of fresh fruit and the sole exporter of ENZA dessert fruit to Asia. T&G functions as a trading platform for apples in South America, the United States, South Africa, Asia and Europe.

BayWa AG is an international trading and services company in its core segments of agriculture, building materials and energy. In the financial year 2010, the company generated an EBIT of almost 130 million euro and revenues of approximately 8 billion euro with its workforce of more than 16,000 employees.

In its Fruit Business unit, the BayWa Group is a leading supplier of German dessert fruit to food retailers and the largest supplier of pipfruit from organic production.

T&G was founded in 1897 and employs a workforce of around 1,400 employees within the group. The international company achieved annual revenues of 346 million euro in 2010. Its core business consists of exporting apples, kiwis and tomatoes and providing the associated logistics.