Peace River Citrus Products, Inc., Vero Beach, Fla., acquired the U.S. frozen juice packaging business from Louis Dreyfus Co. Citrus (LDC), Winter Garden, Fla. The transaction is expected to close in May. Other terms of the purchase were not disclosed.
LDC’s juice division provides packaged frozen juice products for private label customers, as well as frozen juice packaging services for major juice brands in the United States. Peace River will transition this operation to its packaging facility in LaBelle, Fla. Peace River and LDC will also enter into a long-term orange juice supply agreement.
“About a year and a half ago, we started a transformation process for our juice business. We want to focus even more on delivering outstanding value, as well as the highest levels of quality and service to our global customer network with an emphasis on improving our customer-centricity,” says Adrian Isman, senior head of juice and merchandising platforms for LDC. “Our premise is that you should work to be the best, not the biggest. LDC is fully committed to the juice business, and by improving processes and building efficiencies, we are better able to pursue our potential for growth and market leadership.”
This transaction is aligned with LDC’s ongoing business goals to refocus on core business areas while expanding juice sales distribution. LDC will continue operating its Winter Garden facility to serve its customers across the region by offering a variety of fruit juices, sourced from different origins.
Peace River, a privately held company, employs over 350 people, and in addition to its frozen retail packaging business, supplies bulk concentrate and not-from-concentrate juices to large brands and private label distributors.
"We are very pleased to have the opportunity to add significantly to the scale of our business, and this acquisition further diversifies our customer base and provides us greater access to value-added markets," says Bill Becker, chief executive officer and founder of Peace River. "LDC built a very successful frozen retail business, and the operation is well known in the marketplace for its superior quality products and service. That will fit very nicely in our business model.”