Paramount takes Texas citrus crown - The Packer

Paramount takes Texas citrus crown

12/10/2012 03:38:00 PM
Pamela Riemenschneider

(UPDATED COVERAGE, Dec. 10) Just a few months after acquiring one of the largest Texas citrus shippers, Delano, Calif.-based Paramount Citrus plans to acquire another major player.

The company plans to close a deal to acquire the assets of Edinburg, Texas-based Rio Queen Citrus Inc., making Paramount Citrus the largest shipper of Texas citrus.

A news release says the companies hope to close the deal by the end of December.

David Krause, president of Paramount Citrus, said in the news release Rio Queen is known for shipping a high quality, consistent product.

“We believe Paramount is well-positioned with its marketing activities to increase the demand for Texas grapefruit to a whole new level,” he said, in a news release.

Mike Martin, president of Rio Queen Citrus, said in the release he and his father Ken, who serves as the company’s chairman, plan to remain involved in the operation for now with no changes until the citrus season comes to a close in late spring.

The news release said in the spring Paramount intends to merge Healds Valley, which it acquired in the summer, and Rio Queen into Paramount Citrus.

“We’re excited about what this transaction will mean for both Rio Queen and Paramount,” Martin said, in the release. “Paramount Citrus is the undisputed leader in the citrus industry, and this will allow Paramount Citrus to leverage their other products to create better results for Texas growers.”

Rio Queen, according to the release, manages more than 5,000 acres of citrus and 1,150 acres of onions. Paramount Citrus, according to the release, ships more than 15 million cartons of fresh citrus from 42,000 acres of owned property.

Rio Queen's future

Martin said plans for Rio Queen’s other non-citrus business, including onions and melons, has yet to be determined.

“Our focus is to get past closing,” he said. “There are a number of decisions that haven’t been completely made yet.”

Martin said Rio Queen is in the middle of onion season in Oregon and has onions in the ground already in Texas.

“Those things will be sorted out over the next few months,” he said.

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Michael Castillo    
alamo t  |  December, 18, 2012 at 03:06 PM

I am currently employed in Rio queen and feel Mike Martin and his father Mr. Ken know what's best for Rio Queen and all the employees. I have faith in the Martin family and if they feel this is the best decisions for Rio Queen and there employees then I back them up 110 percent.

Jimmy Jimenez    
McAllen  |  January, 08, 2013 at 03:00 PM

I'm not employed by them but have done business with them for many years now and totally aree with Michael the Martins do know what is best for business. Good Luck to all the parties involved.

pharr, texas  |  January, 29, 2013 at 11:31 AM

As a former employee of Paramount Citrus, this deal is a great win for all the employees and the future of the RGV. It will provide more jobs for more people and to be part of the Paramount Citrus family is a dream for any citrus company. Job well done Mr. Martin and Mr. Krause

Moorhead MN  |  March, 24, 2013 at 08:08 PM

The grapefruit from Rio Queen has converted many here in Minnesota. I buy 3 boxes every year from a local 4H group and give a few away to people like me who thought grapefruit was awful. My hope is for this merger to not end our access to a fantastic product.

Mission TX  |  November, 04, 2013 at 04:58 PM

Sorry I don't not share your feelings about the company. This company is taking advantage of the hundreds of employees by paying them close to minimum wage and as a result has not been able to hire as many people as it thought.

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