Managers of Aweta and an Amsterdam-based private equity company joined forces and bought all shares of the company with plans to invest $10 million in product innovation and expand international operations.
Stan Sankaran, managing director of Aweta Americas, Fresno, Calif., said expansion in Russia and Poland had already begun as of mid-July. New sorting and grading machines are already being installed in the U.S., he said.
“We just rolled out a new line in California for fresh peaches,” Sankaran said July 16. “It uses a high-speed camera system to sort for defects.”
Sankaran said there are 500-600 Aweta systems in operation in the U.S. The company has about 40 sales and service employees in the Aweta Americas division, according to a news release about the sale of the company.
In addition to what Sankaran described as key managers, Aweta shares are now owned by Standard Investment, Amsterdam.
“After an intense period of restructuring of Aweta’s U.S. operations, we are now ready for a new growth phase based on a stronger product portfolio and a lower cost base,” Sankaran said in the release.
Aweta chief executive officer Jean-Luc Delcassé said in the release that the company plans to target China as a new development region with the assistance of Standard Investment, which Sankaran said now holds a majority of the Aweta shares.
Aweta sells about 200 sorting and/or grading systems annually, according to the release, for revenue of about $70 million.