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Ocean Spray buys cranberry processing business in Chile

Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc., the Massachusetts-based agricultural cooperative, said Thursday it has acquired a cranberry processing business in Chile that will expand its multinational footprint and increase its capacity to produce dried cranberries by 12 million pounds annually.

Ocean Spray’s press release about its first acquisition outside of North America did not include financial details of the transaction.

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Dried cranberries make up the fastest-growing product in Ocean Spray’s portfolio, and the acquisition will establish Ocean Spray’ presence in an “important cranberry growing region,” said the cooperative, whose headquarters campus straddles the Lakeville-Middleborough line.

Ocean Spray CEO Randy Papadellis (right) greeted a Cran Chile employee at the facility in Lanco, Chile, Wednesday. Photo by Carlos Johnson. Photo courtesy of Ocean Spray.

Ocean Spray said it bought the processing business from Agrícola Cran Chile Limitada, which is also known as Cran Chile. Cran Chile will retain its cranberry growing operation and its raspberry and blueberry juice concentrate business, Ocean Spray said.

In a statement, Ocean Spray president and chief executive Randy Papadellis said that the acquisition “is a good strategic fit and will better help the cooperative accelerate the growing global demand for dried cranberries, the fastest-growing product in Ocean Spray’s portfolio.”

The acquisition, Papadellis added, “also represents a new frontier for our cooperative that will diversify our fruit supply with a counter-seasonal supply of cranberries from Chile, enable us to distribute dried cranberries from a strategic South American location to new and existing international markets, and increase our capacity to produce dried cranberries by 12 million pounds annually.”

Ocean Spray said it posted fiscal 2012 gross sales of $2.2 billion and net proceeds of $338 million.

Chris Reidy can be reached at reidy@globe.com.
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