Total Produce grows North America presence
Irish fruit and vegetable company Total Produce has bought 50pc of Canadian fresh food maker the Gambles Group, for what market sources said was €5m-€10m.
It's the latest in a series of North American investments with the company hungry to expand in recent years.
Total - which distributes fruit and vegetables, including brands like Fyffes, Cutrale and Sunkist - acquired a majority stake in Canadian distributor Oppy in 2013, and its subsidiary Allegro bought a US sports nutrition company at the end of last year.
Gambles had sales worth 170 million Canadian dollars in 2014. It is based in Toronto and employs 280 people.
"Bringing Total Produce into our business will further strengthen what we have developed over many years. We believe it is a combination that will benefit all stakeholders, including our growers, suppliers, staff and, of course, our customers," Gambles president Jeff Hughes said.
Total chairman Carl McCann said the move would further broaden the company's North American operations.
Shares in Total were up almost 2pc in Dublin at 3:30pm yesterday but pared their gains and closed up 0.5pc.
Goodbody Stockbrokers estimated the deal would add around 2pc to Total's earnings per share.
"Acquisitions continue to be primary growth driver for the business so it's encouraging to see the Group put its robust balance sheet to work," Goodbody analyst Patrick Higgins said.
Total had revenue of €3.175bn in the year ending December 31 2013. It was founded in 2007 as part of a demerger from Fyffes.