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Manulife Investment Management completes majority acquisition of Chilean fruit firm David Del Curto

Christian Fernsby |
Hancock Natural Resource Group (HNRG), a company of Manulife Investment Management, has completed a majority acquisition of David Del Curto S.A. ("DDC"), on behalf of its third-party clients.

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The acquisition helps to diversify its growing agricultural portfolio through its Farmland Plus initiative. Farmland Plus assets include integrated crop operations such as transitional processing, storing and packaging for wholesale distribution.

The acquisition is in keeping with Manulife Investment Management's priority to strategically grow its private markets offering across timber, agriculture, infrastructure, real estate, private equity and credit.

David Del Curto, S.A. is a leading Chilean fruit production, packing and export company, which produces over ten different fruit types across eleven farms, while also managing one of the largest nurseries in the country.

It also operates three packing facilities with a capacity of nine million boxes of fruit. DDC will continue to be led by Fernando Cisternas, the current CEO, and the management team, who will oversee day-to-day operations and key strategic growth projects.

The acquisition will also benefit from maintaining a connection to the previous ownership. The Corso Group (TCG), the investment unit of the Cortes Solari family office, acquired an ownership stake of DDC in 2005 and in this transaction will maintain a minority stake in the firm.

Chile benefits from its geographic location and climate, allowing for high value crop production. Because it is located in the Southern Hemisphere, it harvests and markets crops around the world at a time when Northern Hemisphere supplies are low.

DDC currently packs and markets fruit for approximately 90 third-party growers as well as fruit from its own farms. In the 2018/19 marketing year, DDC accounted for 1.70% of Chilean fruit volume.

DDC sells products to a diverse and global customer base and in the 2018/19 crop year, sold product to nearly 150 customers on four continents. Ninety percent of the total amount of sales are shipped to Europe, North America and Asia.