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Limoneira buys Arizona citrus grower for $18.6M

By   /   Monday, September 9th, 2013  /   Comments Off on Limoneira buys Arizona citrus grower for $18.6M

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Limoneira Co. said Sept. 9 that it has acquired Associated Citrus Packers, a citrus grower in Arizona, for $18.6 million.

The deal brings with it 1,300 acres of property in Yuma, Ariz., including 950 acres of lemon orchards, 350 acres of other crops and facilities. The property has irrigation access to the Colorado River, Limoneira said.

Under the terms of the deal, Santa Paula-based Limoneira paid $16 million in common stock plus $1 million in cash and assumed $1.6 million of ACP’s debt.

Limoneira said the Yuma lemon crop is typically harvested and sold starting in September and may continue through February. Limoneira had previously packed and sold ACP’s lemons, along with those of other Yuma area growers. Limoneira said the deal is expected to be accretive to fourth-quarter 2013 and first-quarter 2014 operating profit. Company-grown lemons enjoy a higher profit margin than those purchased from third-party growers, it said.

“We are very excited to bring Associated Citrus Packers into the Limoneira family,” Senior Vice President Alex Teague said in a news release. “The high quality of the fruit that ACP added to our year-round supply chain has been instrumental to our customers’ and packing operations’ growing success. The ability to supply our customers on a year-round basis domestically and abroad is vital in today’s marketplace.”

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