Two New Zealand fruit companies have merged their operating interests.

Under the deal between Freshmax and apple and stone fruit grower Crasborn Bros., the balance of Crasborn’s orchard properties and post-harvest business will now be under the Freshmax umbrella, according to a Freshmax news release.

The deal represents the end of a long collaboration between the two companies. More than eight years ago, the companies created a joint venture, Interfruit Packing Hawkes Bay. And in 2010, a joint venture of the companies, Agrilasia Farms Ltd., bought Opey Farms and other orchards.

With the merger, all permanent Crasborn employees will be offered jobs at Freshmax. Crasborn’s managing director, Eddie Crasborn, will join the Freshmax board.

The Crasborn family will retain ownership of its commercial property assets, which will continue to be leased to third parties, including the new, post-merger Freshmax.