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Unifrutti buys Verfrut and aims for worldwide expansion

The Marche company (but controlled by the government of Abu Dhabi) becomes leader in Chile and Peru

The Gruppo Marche Unifrutti, a worldwide producer and distributor of fresh fruit, founded by Giulio de Nadai, but controlled since 2022 by the government of Abu Dhabi (see article by EFA News), announces the acquisition of Verfrut, important producer and exporter of fresh fruit on the markets of Chile and Peru. The acquisition, defined as "strategic" in a statement by the company, represents a "fundamental step in the consolidation of Unifrutti’s ambition to become, in the near future, the main platform for the marketing of fruit worldwide". After the completion of the operation, Unifrutti will maintain the global operations of Verfrut, ensuring business continuity. 

Founded in 1996, Verfrut is a key player in the fresh produce sector in Chile and Peru, where it manages over 7,500 hectares of fully integrated crops and processing centers: the company cultivates a wide range of products, including grapes, cherries, apples and blueberries. The company is recognized as the largest exporter of grapes in Peru and has a strong sales and distribution network in the US, EU, South America and China.

With the acquisition of Verfrut, Unifrutti becomes one of the most important fruit companies in Chile, one of the largest centers of production of grapes and cherries globally, and one of the leading operators in the southern hemisphere apple sector. In addition, this acquisition strategically extends the reach of Unifrutti in Peru, a key hub in the fresh produce sector.

"The acquisition of Verfrut represents a strategic milestone, which will allow the growth of Unifrutti and will strengthen our commitment to excellence and innovation -emphasizes Mohamed Elsarky, ceo of the Unifrutti Group-. This operation not only enhances our current activities, but also paves the way for future growth, as we aim to become the leading and most sustainable company in the industry globally, setting new standards. This transaction aligns perfectly with our family business history and we are honored and proud to be able to work with a company with 30 years of market presence like Verfrut, collaborating in the creation of a leading player in Chile and Peru". 

"This operation represents an excellent decision for us -adds Romano Vercellino, founder and president of Verfrut-. After many years of hard work, we are confident that Unifrutti will maintain the values that have guided us since the foundation of Verfrut. We look forward to the next stage of our successful journey". 

The Unifrutti Group, part of ADQ, an investment and holding company based in Abu Dhabi, boasts over 14,000 hectares of land in Chile, Italy, the Philippines and South Africa: it is able to serve more than 50 countries throughout the year, distributing about 500,000 tons of fresh fruit to over 500 customers. Founded in 1948 by Guido de Nadai, Unifrutti now employs more than 11,000 people in its headquarters but also operates in Japan, Chile, South Africa, Fililippine, Italy, Spain, Uruguai, Turkey, Middle East, China and India. 

Verfrut, founded in 1996 by Romano Vercellino, has grown to become one of the ten leading producers and exporters of fruit in Peru and Chile, exporting more than 16 million boxes last season, with a projection of over 25 million boxes exported in the coming years. The company grows, works and exports 100% of its fruit globally, thanks to its commercial platforms, with major markets such as the United States, Asia, EU and South America.

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EFA News - European Food Agency