Wonderful Press Info

Wonderful Citrus Makes Major Acquisitions in Persian Limes

Significant supply and distribution of Persian limes added to America’s largest integrated grower, shipper and packer of fresh citrus

DELANO, CALIFORNIA | Apr 08, 2016

DELANO, CALIFORNIA, McALLEN, TEXAS, and MARTINEZ de la TORRE, MEXICO (April 8, 2016) – Wonderful Citrus, America’s largest integrated grower, shipper and packer of fresh citrus, today announced the acquisition of I. Kunik Company (“I. Kunik”), a major distributor of Persian limes grown in Mexico, and the purchase of the operations of B&S Grupo Exportador, S.A. de C.V. (“B&S”), a major supplier of Persian limes to the worldwide market. As part of the transaction, Wonderful Citrus also acquired nearly 2,000 acres of Persian lime orchards in Mexico, making it the largest lime grower in the country when combined with its existing lime acreage.

 

These acquisitions, combined with Wonderful Citrus’ existing lime growing operations, confirm the company’s commitment to a vertical integration strategy in the Persian lime market, assuring the highest product quality for customers by controlling all steps in the process from tree to table. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed.   

 

“The addition of this infrastructure and supply of Persian limes provided by these major acquisitions is a perfect complement to the other citrus varieties we already offer,” said David Krause, President of Wonderful Citrus. “This will enhance our ability to be the ultimate one-stop shop for citrus for our customers across all channels, and round out Wonderful Citrus’ basket of fresh citrus offerings.” 

 

The operations of I. Kunik, located in McAllen, TX, will be renamed “Wonderful Citrus, I. Kunik Division,” and become the center for all Persian lime distribution to the U.S. and Canada by Wonderful Citrus. Strategically located in the Rio Grande Valley close to the U.S.-Mexico border, I. Kunik brings to Wonderful Citrus its long-standing relationships with B&S, other suppliers, and many customers developed over five decades in the business, as well as a 65,000 square foot packing and cold storage facility.  

 

More than 200 I. Kunik employees have joined Wonderful Citrus as part of the deal. The addition of this team will expand Wonderful Citrus’ already robust operations in Texas. Lawrence Kroman, grandson of the founder, Irving Kunik, will continue his role in the business on a consulting basis for at least two years. 

 

Close to 300 B&S employees have also joined Wonderful Citrus as part of the deal. The operations of B&S, located in Martinez de la Torre in Veracruz, Mexico, have been renamed Grupo B&S, and will be managed as a separate division of Wonderful Citrus. As the Grupo B&S division, it will continue to supply and pack Persian limes for export to the U.S. and Canada though I. Kunik, as well as for export to Europe and Asia directly from Mexico. Centrally located in the heart of the five Persian lime-growing states of Mexico, B&S brings to Wonderful Citrus its long-standing relationships with leading growers and third-party suppliers, as well as a 264,000 square foot packing facility. The current B&S CEO will continue his role in the business on a consulting basis for at least two years. 

    

Wonderful Citrus also acquired 1,944 acres of lime orchards in the states of Veracruz and Puebla, Mexico. With the addition of these lime orchards, Wonderful Citrus has a total of 7,100 acres of producing and/or maturing lime orchards in Mexico and is now the largest grower of limes in the country.    

 

ABOUT WONDERFUL CITRUS

 

Wonderful Citrus is America’s largest integrated grower, shipper and packer of fresh citrus, including clementine/mandarin, navel and Valencia oranges; lemons; limes; grapefruits; and other citrus varieties. Based in Delano, California, Wonderful Citrus owns, cultivates and harvests more than 56,000 acres of fresh citrus and ships around the world each year to ensure a year-round supply. Our citrus can be found in all channels of distribution, with our consumer brands most visible in the produce department of grocery stores across America under the flagship consumer brands of Wonderful Halos mandarins and Wonderful Sweet Scarletts Texas red grapefruit.

 

Wonderful Citrus is part of The Wonderful Company, a successful, fast-growing privately held $4.8 billion company with 7,800 employees worldwide. We’ve made Wonderful Pistachios one of America’s top-selling salty snacks. We’ve turned pomegranates and POM Wonderful into a worldwide phenomenon. Wonderful Halos is the No. 1 mandarin orange in America. FIJI Water is the No. 1 premium bottled water in America. JUSTIN Wine produces California’s top-selling, high-end Cabernet Sauvignon. And Teleflora is the world’s largest flower delivery service.

 

The Wonderful Company has a long-standing commitment to corporate social responsibility, including more than $120 million invested in environmental technologies and sustainability research, nearly $50 million in charitable giving and education initiatives in 2015 alone, $30 million toward the construction of a new charter school campus in California’s Central Valley, and innovative health and wellness programs.


To learn more about The Wonderful Company, its products and core values, visit    

www.wonderful.com.

 

 

ABOUT I. KUNIK COMPANY

 

I. Kunik has been distributing fresh, high quality produce for over five decades and maintains the highest level certification (Level 3) from the Safe Quality Food (SQF) Institute. Founded in 1947 by Irving Kunik, the company today is a premier importer and distributor of Persian limes, other varieties of citrus, and various vegetables. Its “Susie” brand of Persian limes is well known in the produce trade. Strategically located in McAllen, Texas in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley and close to the border with Mexico, its operations include a 65,000 square foot packinghouse and cold storage facility. To ensure that its customers only receive the freshest and highest quality produce, I. Kunik maintains constant communications with its growers and reinforces the importance of only exporting the best quality fruit and vegetables. 

 

To learn more about I. Kunik, visit www.ikunik.com.

 

ABOUT B&S GRUPO EXPORTADOR, S.A. de C.V.

 

B&S is Mexico’s largest packer and exporter of Persian limes into the U.S. and Canada (through I. Kunik) and currently exports to more than eight other countries in Europe and Asia. Its history goes back to 1985 when its founders built one of the first Persian lime packinghouses in Martinez de la Torre, in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. In addition to packing fruit from lime orchards owned by its founders, the company has relationships with over 2,000 lime growers and third party suppliers across the states of Veracruz, Puebla, Oaxaco, Tabasco, and Chiapas.  B&S packs and distributes Persian limes under I. Kunik’s “Susie” brand, as well as a number of its own brands including “Elma” and “Chely” brands.  Centrally located in Martinez de la Torre, its operations include a 264,000 square foot packinghouse and a fleet of trucks used to transport Persian limes to and from the packinghouse. The company sold more than 84,000 tons of Persian limes in 2015.   

 

To learn more about B&S, visit www.bsgrupoexportador.com.mx.

PRESS CONTACTS

VP, Corporate Communications

 

Steven Clark

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