Australia: Thomas Foods sells Potato Business to Mitolo
The deal was recently announced between the two South Australian family-owned companies, after Mitolo Family Farms Managing Director Frank Mitolo approached Thomas Foods (TFI) CEO Darren Thomas about selling the potato business several months ago.
South Australia grows 80% of the nation’s potatoes, with Mitolo among its biggest players.
Mitolo said the acquisition represents an opportunity to increase capacity and business continuity for packing and grading fresh produce in the Virginia region and to future proof the business through additional farming and water assets.
“It underpins our commitment to quality and reliability of supply to all consumers through our valued retail and wholesale partners and enables us to achieve best practices in farming and technology in our pursuit of excellence,” he said.
TFI purchased potato producer Mondello Farms after the Virginia-based business went into administration in 2013 and has since grown the business under its Thomas Foods International Fresh Produce company division. Thomas said the sale would allow TFI to focus on its core meat business, including the rebuilding of its main Murray Bridge factory, which was destroyed by fire in January 2018.
“It’s now timely to divest these potato interests and focus on our group’s core local, national and global operations where we see exciting growth prospects including potential future acquisitions, the rebuild of the Murray Bridge meat processing plant and other produce opportunities. We know the Mitolo family well and are comfortable that the potato business will be in safe hands,” said Thomas.
The sale is still subject to regulatory approval.