AgroFresh Solutions Inc., a global agtech innovator and the leader in post-harvest produce freshness solutions, today announced the acquisition of Tessara, a post-harvest solutions provider, from global investment firm Carlyle, who acquired majority ownership of Tessara in 2018. The acquisition expands AgroFresh’s footprint in food waste reduction and freshness solutions for table grapes and berries and bolsters the organization’s impact in growing regions in South Africa, China, Australia, and South America.
“Completing this transaction with Tessara creates significant opportunities for AgroFresh to build upon our diversification strategy and further support our customers in their efforts to grow and distribute an abundant supply of sustainable fresh produce around the world,” says Clinton Lewis, CEO at AgroFresh. “The acquisition is a perfect fit given Tessara’s and AgroFresh’s alignment on leveraging science-based solutions to advance freshness across the global produce industry and we look forward to bringing the innovative team at Tessara onboard.”
Established in 1988 in South Africa, Tessara has since grown to become a leader in post-harvest preservation solutions, which it provides to fresh produce growers worldwide. The company is a leading provider of SO2 solutions for table grapes, berries, and flowers, protecting more than $3 billion worth of fresh produce annually in more than 30 countries.
“We are proud of the Tessara team and our distinctly South African roots and culture,” notes Jaco Smit, CEO of Tessara. “We are also humbled and excited to be part of AgroFresh, the leader in the post-harvest AgTech space and, together, we will leverage our combined network and innovation resources to build a world-class market leader.”
AgroFresh has been a pioneer in post-harvest technology for over 20 years and got its start with the commercialization of the SmartFreshTM Quality System, the industry leading post-harvest solution to maintain produce freshness and quality, which is now used in over 50 countries across multiple crops including apples, pears, plums, kiwis, mangos, broccoli, and avocados. AgroFresh’s comprehensive portfolio has expanded to include plant-based coatings, antimicrobial solutions, equipment, and digital platforms that help improve quality and reduce waste across the supply chain from harvest to home.
Rabobank advised Carlyle as exclusive financial advisor on the transaction. Serving as legal advisers for the transaction for AgroFresh were Morrison & Foerster and Bowman Gilfillan. The
transaction remains subject to clearance by the South Africa competition authorities.