Renewable Resources Group (RRG), a California-based asset management firm with a focus on agriculture and other sustainable resources, has purchased Sun World International, the fresh produce company headquartered in Bakersfield, Calif., from Black Diamond Capital Management, an alternative asset management firm based in Greenwich, Conn.
“Sun World is an extraordinarily valuable company with a strong and experienced management team and first-class employees who deliver famously delicious fruits and vegetables and industry-leading marketing, licensing and research-and-development operations,” says RRG President Ari Swiller. “It’s a company we’ve watched and respected for a long time.”
Black Diamond’s Christopher W. Parker, Sun World’s outgoing Chairman of the Board says, “Sun World has been an important portfolio company for Black Diamond, and we are proud to have worked with Dave Dever, the Sun World’s president and CEO, and his team. We are very proud of what we have all accomplished together, and we are pleased that this acquisition provides Sun World with the opportunity to continue to thrive and build for the future.”
Dave Dever, Sun World’s president and CEO, says, “For the past eight years, Sun World has benefited enormously from its relationship with Black Diamond. Black Diamond has worked with us to stabilize, grow and cement our place as a leader in the industry. As we continue to grow the company and focus on delivering superior products and services to our customers, a partnership with RRG is exciting. This new partnership will allow Sun World to continue to strengthen and grow alongside its customers.”
RRG has been active in Kern County for more than a decade, and has extensive farming operations in Riverside County, both of which are home to significant Sun World operations. About two years ago, RRG purchased approximately 4,000 acres near Blythe, Calif., from Sun World. The transaction closed August 9, 2013, and Sun World operations are continuing unchanged.
“We all know this is the height of the season for Sun World, and so the change in ownership will be swift and seamless, with no change to operations, personnel or administration,” says Swiller said. “Sun World’s senior executive team will continue in their posts. Employees’ job responsibilities and benefit plans will not change. And, most importantly, Sun World will continue to provide its customers and partners with the delicious fresh produce they know and love.”