Sun World Announces Agreement to Sell to Private Equity Group Bridgepoint
PALM DESERT, CA - A deal of epic proportions was finalized today as Sun World Internationl announced an agreement to be acquired by Bridgepoint, an international private equity group. Succeeding a transformative period of ownership from Renewable Resources Group and Vision Ridge Partners, Bridgepoint will serve as a controlling shareholder alongside Sun World’s management.
“Our connection with the Bridgepoint team was undeniable from the first conversation,” CEO David Marguleas, who will serve on the company’s new Board and hold an equity position in the company, said. “They understand and appreciate the extraordinary head start we enjoy in the sector after 30 years of breeding superior produce. And they share our vision of the many ways we can grow. To say we’re ‘excited’ undersells what this new partnership means for Sun World.”
A press release stated that the Bridgepoint investment will support Sun World’s plans to accelerate its growth strategy by building a broad-based genetics and technology platform for specialty fruit growers.
In addition to enhancing its intellectual property portfolio and core grape and stonefruit breeding operations, Sun World has honed in on a number of under-served crops and technology solutions that have strong global appeal. Investments and acquisitions in new genetics and emerging technologies will have the potential to add meaningful value for Sun World growers worldwide.
“In partnering with Sun World, our ambition is for it to become a broader based platform investment in fruit genetics with a considerable runway for long term growth,” said Andrew Sweet, a Partner at Bridgepoint who leads the firm’s investment activities across North America. “Sun World was part of the first wave of genetic innovation for produce, establishing a recurring royalty business model that has enabled it to prioritize its R&D innovation. Today it enjoys a market-leading reputation with the largest growers, distribution partners, and retailers globally, thanks to its cutting-edge molecular techniques and breeding processes. We expect to continue to invest in new technologies that benefit growers and consumers alike.”
To facilitate the company’s expansion, last year Sun World opened its new Center for Innovation in California’s San Joaquin Valley. The facility features a sophisticated fruit breeding and variety development operation, including specialized facilities for tissue culture and molecular breeding and a 160-acre experimental research farm. The solutions provider currently holds 300+ plant patents and views the Center for Innovation as an important advantage in advancing its pipeline of fruit genetics.
Back in 2019, Sun World also divested its substantial farming, packing, and marketing operation to concentrate more fully on its breeding and licensing business. For this most recent transaction, J.P. Morgan Securities served as the exclusive financial advisor. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021, subject to customary conditions.
As wait to see how this acquisition will accelerate growth for Sun World, keep reading the latest reports from ANUK.