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Calavo gains 600K with sale of Maui Fresh


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Santa Paula-based Calavo Growers sold its share of a Los Angeles-based fruit distribution company for $2.6 million in a deal that closed Oct. 31.

The produce marketer sold its 50 percent stake in Maui Fresh International to San Rafael Distributing, the company that already owns the other half of the tropical fruit wholesaler, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Maui Fresh became a division of Calavo in 2003 when the Santa Paula company purchased it for $4.5 million in stock, the filing said. In 2006, Arizona-based San Rafael Distributing entered into a partnership with Calavo where each company would own half of Maui Fresh, which distributes tropical fruits and other produce from the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market.

Calavo, which focuses mostly on avocado marketing, will gain about $600,000 from the sale, according to the SEC filing. San Rafael made a $300,000 down payment on Oct. 31.

“The opportunity came about for me to buy the other 50 percent of Maui Fresh,” Francisco Clouthier, owner of San Rafael, told The Packer, a newsletter that covers the fresh produce industry. “Calavo’s interest in the L.A. terminal market changed. They bought Renaissance Food Group and they’re going toward consumer packaging and pre-cuts.”