08 January 1999
South African merger bears fruit

SOUTH AFRICA has spawned a major player in the world fruit market with the merger of Unifruco and Outspan International, reports the Financial Times.

The new group, called Capespan, will rank among the top five in the world with a turnover of about £600 million a year from sales of 700,000 tonnes of produce.

A related deal has seen Fyffes pay about £16m for half of Capespan International and take a 10% interest in the parent company.

Capespan accounts for about 80% of the South African trade in deciduous fruits and 70% of the countrys citrus.

But it is facing competition in South Africa not only from international rivals but also from companies borne out of deregulation.

The group stands to benefit from a free trade deal currently under negotiation with the European Union.

  • Financial Times 08/01/99 page 24