Frutura paid US$ 18 million, took control of Caputto and acquired a plant in Chile

The American company Frutura, whichue last month acquired the assets of Citrícola Salteña (Caputto) in a judicial auctiondisbursed the US$ 18.2 million that he had to pay before March 31 (half of the purchase price) and as of this Friday, April 1, he took control of the plant in the midst of the start of a new harvest, he informed The Observer the president of BROU, Salvador Ferrer.

Caputto’s new investors consider that “there are many opportunities” to improve the productive and industrial operation of the plant, according to had declared to The Observer its CEO in Uruguay, Alejandro Buratovich.

“The main product that Uruguay has as a citrus producer is the tangerine with United States. That is perhaps the best opportunity we have today,” acknowledged the executive, although he admitted that it is a “business with fluctuations” and that is why those in the sector know that “you cannot put all your eggs in one same basket. Therefore, Frutura plans to maintain a mix with orange production and add “some lemon”.

One of the advantages that Uruguay has with its mandarins is that its production window “fits very well” with US demand, since the early varieties arrive before competitors such as Peru or Chile.

Frutura plans to make a “significant investment” in all the links of the company in Uruguay, for an amount that will be around US$ 10 million, most of which will be concentrated in the first two years. The investor plans allocate funds for the Caputto citrus plant where citrus juices, concentrates and essential oils are produced to expand that business in Uruguay.

On the other hand, from this Friday began the deed process for Caputto’s assets, which can take up to 6 months. Once this process is resolved, must pay the remaining 50% of the auction (another US$18.2 million). To do this, heThe company plans to make one of a financing option that BROU had offered prior to the auction.

Fruit growing is characterized by being a labor-intensive activity. The Citrícola Salteña unit employs about 1,000 jobs directly and a similar number indirectly. The Salta plant has some 3,500 hectares (ha), of which 1,500 (ha) were used for varietal reconversion. In addition, Caputto has an industrial packaging plant for fresh fruits and another for juices of 26 thousand square meters. The American company has not yet defined whether it will keep the Caputto brand.

Shop in Chile

Caputto’s investor continued shopping in the region. After having acquired Agrícola Don Ricardo (Peru) and Dayka & Hackett and TerraFresh Organics (USA), this week it acquired Chilean fruit exporter Subsole. Through a statement, David Krause, CEO of Frutura, said that “having a strong presence in Chile is an integral part of our growth strategy, which is why we are delighted that Subsole is now part of our portfolio.” Subsole is the largest Chilean exporter of table grapes to the US, Europe and Asia. Other products in their line include citrus fruits, kiwis, avocados, cherries, and pomegranates.

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