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T&G; sells flowers, shifts to fruit

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 9/03/2017 Sophie Boot

T&G Global, the fruit marketer controlled by Germany's BayWa, is selling its FloraMax flower auction business to United Flower Growers for an undisclosed sum.

The deal, expected to be completed on or by March 31, comes as FloraMax "no longer aligns with T&G's strategy and focus on its core business and key categories," the company said.

FloraMax describes itself as the largest specialist flower auction company in New Zealand, with auctions in Auckland and Christchurch, while United Flower Growers says it is New Zealand's largest wholesale marketer of cut flowers with five branches nationwide.

Last week, T&G announced it has agreed to a joint venture in the US with Grandview Brokerage (GBL), the parent of Vancouver-based Oppenheimer Group, to improve its access to the American fresh produce market.

As part of the US deal, the company will increase its stake in US produce marketing and distribution business David Oppenheimer, also known as Oppy US, which handles berries, citrus, kiwifruit, tomatoes, grapes and pipfruit and is one of three US-based licensed agents for T&G Global's proprietary varieties of pipfruit - Jazz, Envy and Pacific Rose, T&G said.

T&G also reported a 67 per cent gain in full-year profit of $32.4 million last week. Its shares last traded at $3.73 and have climbed 74 per cent in the past 12 months.

Revenue from its 'other' segment, which covers its flower auction business, properties and corporate costs, rose 9.2 per cent in the year to $6.1 million.

The company didn't comment on the flower business in its commentary at the time of the results, but said that the New Zealand produce division had "returned to its traditional role as the backbone of T&G Global" after a turnaround.

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