Kent fruit farm ups volumes after acquiring nearby competitor

The Kent fruit producer will now operate across 820 hectares following the acquisition
The Kent fruit producer will now operate across 820 hectares following the acquisition

A leading UK fruit producer based in Kent has acquired the assets of a nearby competitor following the news its owner is exiting the industry.

Farming business Bardsley England has acquired the trading assets of Newmafruit - a move which will boost fruit production volume to 23,000 tonnes from 10,000.

Newmafruit, a neighbouring family run business, owns over 485 hectares of fruit producing land.

Following the acquisition, Bardsley England will now operate across 820 hectares of productive orchards and agricultural land across Kent.

Ben Bardsley, managing director of the farming firm, believed the acquisition placed the business in 'prime position for expansion'.

“Newmafruit is an excellent addition to the Bardsley England group and this is a great opportunity for the business," he said.

"It will enable us to increase our offering of top and stone fruit to the UK market and therefore enhance the strategic partnerships and alliances we have already forged."

The producer's future goals consist of becoming a fully automated business, with a plan to implement technology which will see full digitalisation across the entire supply chain.

The producer has undergone a period of growth. Milestones include forming an alliance with Belgian multinational Greenyard in 2016 and other the acquisition of Highland Court Farm in 2018.

Helping to conclude the deal was Shawbrook bank, which provided funding for both the acquisition and ongoing working capital.

Steven Munt, director of corporate lending at the bank said: “Due to the circumstances caused by coronavirus, this was a challenging transaction, with several moving parts involving asset transfers, lease assignments and freehold property to be valued and charged."