Sun World International to Focus on Fruit Breeding and Licensing, Sells Land to Investor Group
BAKERSFIELD, CA - Sun World International announced the sale of its leased and owned California farming property this morning, May 6, 2019. According to Sun World’s press release, the company has sold that property to “an investor group, which has contracted with Sun Pacific to farm the vineyards.” The newly acquired entity will be called “Famous Vineyards.”
Sun World is owned by Renewable Resources Group LLC (RRG), a California-based asset management firm specializing in sustainable investing.
“As enthusiastic as we are about advancing our breeding and licensing business, we’re mindful of Sun World’s farming heritage and the sale of this land was a carefully considered decision,” said Current Sun World CEO, Merrill Dibble, who will reportedly will stay on to work closely with all parties to manage a smooth transition. “Our understanding that the new owner plans to farm the acreage was critical to us in terms of our colleagues’ continued employment. RRG has invested significantly in Sun World. They planted new vines and brought their expertise in operations and sustainability to virtually every aspect of our business. There’s every reason to feel optimistic about the future of this land and the people who’ll farm it.”
Included in the transaction are Sun World’s farmland in California’s San Joaquin and Coachella Valleys. The understanding is that the acquired land will continue to be farmed for table grapes. The new owners have indicated that they will finalize staffing decisions within the coming 10 days.
Jason Fuller, VP of Sales for Famous Vineyards, expressed enthusiasm for the transition and noted, “We are committed to maintaining the strong supply programs and relationships built over the years.”
Sun World will retain its SUN WORLD® brand, global fruit and intellectual property licensing business and longstanding table grape and stone fruit variety development program. All business entities will be operated as Sun World Innovations at transaction close and will be headquartered in Palm Desert, California.
The transaction will, according to the company’s press release, trigger a redeployment of resources to Sun World Innovations the company’s technology, breeding and licensing business.
“We’re convinced of our team’s limitless potential to break new ground in fruit breeding and genetics,” said Sun World EVP and head of Sun World Innovations, David Marguleas. “By focusing additional investment on this side of the business, we intend to accelerate growth in a meaningful way.”
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