16 Dec 2009

Kiwifruit processors amalgamate

10:22 pm on 16 December 2009

The largest Maori kiwifruit processor, Te Awanui Hukapak, has amalgamated with the country's largest processor, Seeka Kiwifruit Industries.

Chief executive Hemi Rolleston says the $24 million deal gives Hukapak 17% of Seeka, and the combined business will account for a quarter of New Zealand's kiwifruit exports.

Te Awanui will continue to pack some fruit under its own brand, which is well known in Malaysia, Singapore and India.

Mr Rolleston says Te Awanui, whose shareholders are Bay of Plenty land trusts, also bought back the 3ha block at the port of Tauranga where its packing facility is located, and is leasing it back to Seeka.

He says Seeka has a good record of working with Maori growers, and that being part of a larger business will create opportunities for the growers in Te Awanui.