The UK’s largest apple and pear grower-based marketing group Northcourt has bought out Geest’s stake in WorldWide Fruit. The move gives it a 50% share as joint owner alongside Turners and Growers New Zealand (Enza).
Geest said the net assets it sold were valued at £700,000, resulting in a book profit.
By mutual consent CEO Alasdair Robertson will leave WorldWide Fruit at the end of the year. A replacement is being sought.
Northcourt chairman Robert Balicki will act as chair until the new board meets.
WWF will retain exclusivity of the Jazz variety, as well as other varieties being trialled in Kent.
Northcourt’s UK top fruit sales at £35m represent 45% of the industry, while New Zealand’s imports, through Enza, add a further £25m.