UAE – Unifrutti Group in Abu Dhabi has acquired Sociedad Exportadora Verfrut, a Chile-based fruit supplier and exporter.

Verfrut is a “prominent fresh produce player with a presence in Chile and Peru, where it operates over 7,500 hectares of fully integrated farming and processing facilities”, according to a statement from Unifrutti.

Set up in 1996, Verfrut produces grapes, cherries, apples and blueberries. The company has a distribution network stretching from South America to the US and China.

Mohamed Elsarky, who joined Unifrutti as CEO last year, said: “Our acquisition of Verfrut is a strategic milestone, propelling Unifrutti’s growth and reinforcing our commitment to excellence and innovation.”

“This expansion not only enhances our current operations but also paves the way for future growth as we aim to become the pre-eminent and most sustainably driven global multi-fruit company, setting new standards in the industry.”

Unifrutti, which is majority-owned by the Abu Dhabi government investment fund ADQ, will retain Verfrut’s management team and production operations post-transaction, which has been struck for an undisclosed sum.

Romano Vercellino, the founder, and president of Verfrut, said: “We are making an excellent decision with this transaction. After many years of hard work together with our great team, we are confident that Unifrutti will maintain our values that have guided us since the establishment of Verfrut.”

Based in Santiago, Verfrut also grows and supplies stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines, apricots and avocados cultivated across Chile.

Unifrutti, founded in 1948, is present in some of the same fruit varieties as Verfrut but also supplies citrus fruits, bananas, and pears.

The company operates more than 14,000 hectares of land across Latin America, South Africa, Europe and the Asia Pacific, employing around 11,000 staff.

ADQ purchased a majority stake in the business in March 2022. Some of the investment fund’s other agri-food interests include the Louis Dreyfus Company, fresh produce business Silal in Abu Dhabi and the food and beverage company Agthia Group.

Unifrutti posted a 2% increase in turnover to USD 720 million in 2021. EBITDA totaled USD 78 million, with a gross profit margin of 17% and an adjusted EBITDA margin of 11%.

Following this acquisition, Unifrutti is bound to set base in a significantly lucrative fresh fruit market.

According to a report by, Chile and Peru have emerged as two of the real powerhouses of the Latin America fruit and vegetable sector and seen exports develop significantly to a wide range of international markets around the world. 

Since the mid-1990s, Chilean exports have boomed in terms of value from around USD 1.3 to over USD 5.5 billion per annum and Peru has seen its exports grow significantly, in the same period, from under USD 200 million to over USD 2.4 billion on an annual basis.

In 2019, Peru’s share of the fresh fruit market was 27% while Chile’s share had contracted to 40%. The United States is, by far, both Chile and Peru’s most important sales market. In 2020, this country took 30% of Chile’s fruit and vegetable exports and 36% of Peru’s.

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