Driven by its plan to have a strong North Island hothouse presence, Market Gardeners Limited (MG) has finalised the purchase of Warkworth-based operation, Southern Paprika Limited (SPL). The SPL business is now under full MG ownership and management.
Established in 1998, SPL was formed by Alexander Cropping Limited (ACL), a New Zealand business owned by Hamish and Robyn Alexander and the Levarht Family of Holland. Featuring 27 hectares of modern glasshouses across five developments, housing up to one million capsicum plants and producing seven million kilos per year, SPL is one of the largest hothouse operations in New Zealand.
MG has acquired the full SPL business and assets, including land, buildings, intellectual property and a trademark for the SPL brand. Importantly, all 170 employees of SPL will remain in the business, ensuring expertise is retained in the business and seamless continuity of operations.
Speaking about the investment, MG CEO, Peter Hendry, said the acquisition will further boost the scale of MG and will provide the co-operative with greater security of supply of capsicums and further future opportunities to align supply with demand in other hothouse categories for the growing North Island market.
“As a proud Kiwi co-operative, we’re thrilled to welcome another great New Zealand business of the calibre of SPL and all of its employees into the MG Group,” said Peter Hendry.
“The purchase of SPL presents the opportunity for MG to expand its footprint in the North Island with the addition of a hothouse operation which offers a wide range of benefits and advantages to our existing grower-suppliers, shareholders and customers.”
The SPL hothouse operation was chosen due to its location, the calibre of its people, the quality of the facilities and potential scalability.
The acquisition supports the company’s strategy to secure supply and enhance its presence in hothouse categories and, along with other grower suppliers owned by MG, will achieve better overall outcomes which are believed to ultimately result in greater returns to our shareholders.
Hendry said that is an enormous opportunity going forward with the capability of expanding the operation to align with future market demand for other hothouse products.
“It’s a win for our customers, our current capsicum and hothouse suppliers, our cooperative shareholders and the local community in Warkworth.”
SPL founder, Hamish Alexander, said he is delighted to hand over the business to a New Zealand company that mirrors their values and has the resources to take the business forward.
“It was our goal to find owners like MG, with a culture and approach to business that aligns with ours, particularly around the way they look after their people,” said Hamish.
“We are thrilled to have owners with the necessary experience and complementary skills to enable a long-term focus for the business as it enters its next phase.”