Mastronardi Produce® and COFRA Holding Close $127M Sale With AppHarvest Under Mastronardi Berea Venture; Jonathan Webb Comments
MOREHEAD, KY - A recent transaction in the indoor agriculture segment caught the eyes of this editorial team. It was announced that Mastronardi Berea, a joint venture between Mastronardi Produce® and COFRA Holding, entered an agreement with AppHarvest to finalize the sale-leaseback of its Berea, Kentucky, indoor leafy greens farm. The transaction closed for just over $127 million with an initial lease rate of 7.5 percent over 10 years, with four renewal terms of five years each.
“The AppHarvest team has worked relentlessly this year to get the four-farm network operational, and those efforts have paid off with the quadrupling of farms in our network and diversifying our crop set,” said AppHarvest Founder and Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Webb. “The team is now focused on operations to ramp up production and revenue from the four high-tech farms.”
Mastronardi Produce is AppHarvest’s exclusive marketing and distribution partner, which has sold AppHarvest’s produce including tomatoes, leafy greens, and strawberries into national grocery chains, restaurants, and foodservice outlets, a press release explained. Some of the proceeds of the sale-leaseback will be used to repay the previously announced $30 million bridge loan from Mastronardi Produce to AppHarvest and the first two years of prepaid rent at the Berea facility.
In addition to this transaction, AppHarvest announced that its Richmond, KY, farm is officially open and has begun growing Campari brand tomatoes. The first harvest at Richmond is anticipated in early January, and AppHarvest is expected to have commercial shipments coming from each facility in its four-farm network for the first time.
Already this year, the company has opened two other high-tech indoor farms. AppHarvest is shipping strawberries under the WOW® Berries brand and washed-and-ready-to-eat leafy greens under the Queen of Greens® brand. In its third growing season, the AppHarvest Morehead farm has further diversified its crop adding snacking tomatoes sold under the SUNSET® brand as Flavor Bombs® and Sugar Bombs®.
Sounds like one fruitful partnership! For more on these two indoor operators, stick with ANUK.