Limoneira Company announced that it has completed the acquisition of approximately 760 acres of agricultural property in the town of Porterville in Tulare county, Calif., for $8.75 million cash. This property consists of approximately 400 acres of productive lemon orchards and 360 acres primarily utilized for cattle grazing. The acquisition includes water assets and agricultural equipment and supplies.
The addition of this property brings Limoneira’s owned and leased lemon holdings to over 1,000 acres in the San Joaquin Valley, total lemon acreage to approximately 3,400 acres in California and Arizona and over 10,000 acres of owned, leased or managed property in the two states.
The acquired lemon orchards are typically harvested and sold from November through March. Limoneira expects production of approximately 200,000 cartons of lemons for fiscal year 2014 and expects to produce in excess of 100,000 additional cartons of lemons in future years after certain orchard redevelopment on the property. Limoneira expects to achieve annual production of approximately 300,000 to 350,000 cartons subsequent to orchard redevelopment.
The acquisition is expected to generate additional agribusiness operating profit for Limoneira during the first and second quarters of fiscal year 2014 and be accretive to fiscal 2014 results.
“The high quality lemons that this orchard adds to our supply chain enables us to offer our domestic and international customers a year round supply which is vital in today’s marketplace,” says Alex Teague, senior vice president. “This fruit expands our produce offering for the important December through March season, improving our top and bottom line during our first and second fiscal quarters.”
Harold Edwards, the company’s president and CEO adds, “We are quickly becoming a worldwide leader in providing fresh lemons and other citrus to our customers. This acquisition is consistent with Limoneira’s long-term growth strategy to expand our portfolio of quality citrus acreage. We continue to see a strong pipeline of additional acquisition opportunities and look forward to utilizing our strong balance sheet to further expand our business through acquisitions as well as organic growth in coming years. We expect this acquisition to be accretive to our earnings in fiscal 2014.”