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Limoneira invests in Chilean citrus packing operation

Limoneira Co., a leading agribusiness based in Santa Paula, CA, with prime agricultural land and operations, real estate and water rights in California and Arizona, announced that it has made an investment in Rosales S.A, a citrus packing, marketing and sales operation in La Serena, Chile.

Through its wholly owned Chilean subsidiary, Limoneira Chile SpA, Limoneira invested $1.75 million for a 35 percent interest in the business. Limoneira will earn equity income from its investment as well as 50 cents per carton on lemon sales to Asian markets, which combined is estimated at $200,000 to $300,000 per year.

With its location in a coastal region of northern Chile, La Serena is a major citrus- and avocado-growing area of the country. Rosales, which primarily packs and sells lemons, currently sells its produce into Asian, European and Chilean markets. Going forward, Limoneira will handle Rosales' lemon sales to Asian markets.

"We are excited about our first international business investment," Alex Teague, senior vice president of Limoneira, said in a press release. "Our management team has a long-standing relationship with Rosales, and we look forward to working with them more closely following our investment. Along with expanding our participation in the growing global lemon business, this investment also enables Limoneira to better evaluate future potential investment opportunities in Chile's vast, productive agricultural properties."

"With its favorable climate for lemons and other citrus, we have been looking for the right opportunity to enter the Chilean agriculture market for some time and are very pleased with our partnership with Rosales," Harold Edwards, president and chief executive officer of Limoneira, added in the press release. "Our investment in Rosales is consistent with our long-term strategy to expand our agribusiness internationally as a global year-round supplier of lemons. Our business will benefit from our increased packing capacity following our Rosales investment, as well as our recently announced acquisition of Marlin packing house in Yuma, Arizona, and the expansion of our packing facility in Santa Paula, which will be completed next fiscal year. Our team also continues to evaluate strategic opportunities to acquire additional agribusiness acreage in both domestic and international markets."

 

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