Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. Acquires Standard Fruit and Vegetable Company

CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc., one of the world's largest producers and marketers of fresh and fresh-cut fruit, vegetables and other produce, announced on Monday that it has acquired for cash Standard Fruit and Vegetable Company, a complementary supplier, to expand product offerings and boost distribution in the southwestern United States.

The acquisition is expected to be accretive to earnings by the end of 2003 and should provide significant synergies that are expected to further enhance earnings, Fresh Del Monte Produce said. The company did not disclose the financial terms of the deal but said in a statement that privately held Standard Fruit had annual sales of $335 million.

Dallas-based Standard Fruit distributes several products that Fresh Del Monte does not currently offer, including tomatoes, potatoes and onions, Fresh Del Monte said. Standard also supplies an extensive line of specialty items, many of which are not currently included in Fresh Del Monte's product line.

"They have significant volume in those areas, and it puts us in a brand new product line," said Fresh Del Monte CFO John Inserra in an interview. "We can put these products through our existing distribution network."

The purchase adds facilities in Dallas, Kansas City, Phoenix, Atlanta and Monte Vista, Colorado, Fresh Del Monte said.
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