Delano, Calif.-based Wonderful Citrus has acquired Fort Pierce, Fla.-based citrus marketer DNE World Fruit, citrus exporter DNE International and the assets of World Pack Cold Storage, a division of DNE Imports.
The purchase makes Wonderful Citrus the top importer of counter-seasonal citrus products in the U.S. and doubles the company’s grapefruit position, according to a news release. Along with DNE’s citrus marketing and import business, Wonderful acquires World Pack’s distribution center in New Jersey.
“The addition of DNE and World Pack to the Wonderful Citrus family significantly enhances our ability to serve customers year-round with a variety of fresh citrus offerings,” David Krause, president of Wonderful Citrus, said in the release. “We’re thrilled that this makes us the top grapefruit distributor in America and allows us to serve as the exclusive marketer for all of DNE’s Florida citrus.”
Mark Carmel, director of corporate communications at Wonderful, said in an e-mail that there are no current plans to change labels or brands under DNE, which has sold fruit under the Ocean Spray label. DNE’s import programs will also remain intact, though Wonderful does want to grow those programs to meet demand.
This will not be the first time Wonderful is importing citrus. The company had trials in previous years and last year, for the first time, created programs from countries including Chile, Peru, Australia and South Africa.
DNE has imported from those countries as well as others.
“DNE has excellent relationships in most of the citrus-producing countries throughout the world, including but not limited to Chile, Peru, South Africa, Australia, Spain and Morocco,” Carmel said in his e-mail.
Mark Hanks, vice president of sales and marketing at DNE, will retain all his responsibilities with a new title — senior director of sales — that better fits into Wonderful’s structure.
DNE World Fruit president Greg Nelson will remain with the company as an advisor.
“The opportunity to significantly expand our sales reach and access new markets was a very attractive part of this deal,” Nelson said in the release. “We look forward to teaming up with Wonderful to better leverage our collective strengths in the global citrus marketplace.”
DNE has served as the sales arm of Bernard Egan & Co., which owns, farms and harvests more than 12,000 acres of Florida citrus groves, according to the release. DNE retains land in Florida as well as packing facilities within the citrus industry, Carmel said.