Chile: Hortifrut and VitalBerry’s merger is authorized
April 22, 2013

The National Economic Prosecutor (FNE) decided to close Hortifrut and VitalBerry's query to merge both companies. Incidentally, the FNE gave the green light to the operation announced in October of last year.

According to the FNE, "in the context of this research various stakeholders involved in the production of cranberries were consulted and no risks to justify actions were found."

In addition, prosecutors said, while Hortifrut and VitalBerry, "are the companies that registered the greatest amount of exports in fresh format in the 2011-2012 season the operation does not mean a change in the HHI concentration index that will exceed the thresholds of the guide, taking into account the large number of exporters that exist in the market."

In late October 2012, the two companies announced their intention to merge, where Hortifrut would be the continuing company and shareholders from VitalBerry would now have 25% of Hortifrut, the remaining 75% would be left for Hortifrut.

In early February, the parties reported that they would postpone signing the contracts, and that since the assets and liabilities originally considered as part of the merger had changed, each firm's shares had also adapted. "The terms of the merge have changed which must be reflected in the merged company's participations, 82% of the shares for shareholders of Hortifrut and 18% for shareholders of VitalBerry Marketing," they informed the SVS.

The Moller family controls HortiFrut and individual shareholders, Ignacio Del Río and Eduardo Elberg, control VitalBerry. Estimates are that, at the end of its first year, the merged company would reach global sales of over U.S. $ 300 million.

Fresh Plaza/Diario Financiero