Agrinurture reacquires Australia business

Publicly-listed Agrinurture Inc. (ANI) has completed the re-acquisition of 100 percent of Freshness First Pty Ltd., an Australian company, for a token one Australian dollar or AU$1, after first selling it in 2015.

In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE), ANI said efforts to acquire Freshness First began in late 2018 when it deposited P16.1 million for the acquisition of a majority stake. 

It is engaged in the business of trading of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables in the state of Queensland, operating under its 100 percent-owned and controlled subsidiaries.

Its subsidiaries are: BSK Pty Ltd., doing business under the brand Field Cuisine; and Michsul Pty Ltd., doing business under the brand Bou Samra Fruits & Vegetables servicing major institutional clients across the State. 

"The acquisition of Freshness First is consistent with ANI's primary mandate of involvement in agriculture-related activities, and gives it a footprint on the vast and promising Australian landscape to explore," said Agrinurture Chairman, President and CEO Antonio Tiu. 

He noted that, "having overcome initial challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic and a major Brisbane flood during early 2022, said subsidiary managed to steer toward recovery, posting AUS$12.8 million in revenues as of July 2023 which is slightly over during the same period last 2022. Freshness First's potential for growth is manifest, giving value to ANI shareholders."

Apart from trading fresh and processed fruits and vegetables in Queensland, Australia, Freshness First is also looking at possible export in areas like Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau, and Mainland China. 

In Agrinurture’s annual report last year, it said that Freshness First is eyeing a roll up with two or more larger players with existing processing capacity to create synergies and develop value added processing ability for the whole and processed fruit and vegetables market in Queensland. 

“The consolidation would result to a market leader delivering whole and processed fruit and vegetables to the wholesale and commercial market sectors across South East Queensland and creating a true alternative to supply corporate customers for ‘bulk’ processed products,” it said. 

In December 2015, Agrinurture had sold Freshness First for $2.5 million or around P117 million at that time as the company shifted focus on China and in the local market.