Press Release: change in ownership

Barker Fruit Processors joins forces with French family – exciting future unveiled

PRESS RELEASE – 17/4/15

Barker Fruit Processors has reached agreement to sell a majority stake to family-owned French company Andros, with Michael Barker retaining a significant shareholding in the business. The transaction is subject to OIO approval.

Andros is the world’s leader in premium jam, maker of the famous Bonne Maman brand at its home factory in Biars, a small town of 2,000 people in the French countryside. Other fruit products include premium fruit juices and fruit snacks.

Michael Barker, executive director of Barker Fruit Processors, said the sale would be a great boost for the company and the local economy.

“Andros has a strong respect for what we have achieved so the existing management team will continue to operate the business unchanged.

“The ethos of both companies is aligned to a point where we are almost cut from the same cloth, albeit on a different scale. They are rural based, family owned with family led values and a strong sense of staff loyalty,” he said.

Andros has a rich 60-year history in processing fruits and Barker’s could see huge merit in aligning its small New Zealand business with a global leader in fruit processing.

“We are proud that they really liked our products and people and wanted to invest with us. Their international presence will provide opportunities for Barker’s products in export markets and their international product portfolio will provide exciting opportunities for Barker’s.

“We look forward to tapping into the enormous wealth of technical fruit processing and packaging knowledge that Andros has accumulated over those 60 years. Their on-going investment into our operations in Geraldine will be good for our customers, our people, our community and suppliers.”

Barker said that after 45 years it was time to find an international partner to help take the business into the future, and who better than another passionate family-owned fruit processing business that can help Barker’s grow.

“I am genuinely excited that this partnership assures the long-term future of Barker’s so it will continue to flourish as an iconic New Zealand food producing company.

“Most importantly, we will continue to make the same products, same brands and same labels and we will always aspire to make the best products in each category and they will still be made on a corner of our original family farm,” Michael Barker said.

Sue Suckling, who has chaired the family business since 1999, says that the Barker’s business, its products and its people are of the highest quality, and it has been an absolute privilege to be involved with such an outstanding New Zealand business over 15 years. “Barker’s outlook with Andros is very bright indeed,” she said.

Frédéric Gervoson, owner and C.E.O. of the Andros Group said he is happy and proud to contribute to the next pages in the Barker’s Story.

“The distance between us is 19,200 km. We couldn’t find a further business to invest in, but we couldn’t find a closer one in terms of ethos, quality and passion. We will give Barker’s the necessary autonomy and support to confirm its position as a leading manufacturer in the Pacific Region, and an ambassador for New Zealand’s outstanding products and services throughout the world,” he said.

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