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Salad days for APS after key acquisition

A FAMILY-owned Cheshire produce company has bought a major rival and become a £100m business and the country’s largest grower and supplier of tomatoes.

APS Group, which has its headquarters in Middlewich, has acquired Wight Salads from Vitacress for an undisclosed sum. The deal, which was led by Manchester corporate finance firm Rickitt Mitchell an enlarged business with 265 acres of land with 108 acres of high-tech glasshouses for the production of tomatoes APS previously known as A Pearson & Sons, was founded in 1949. It has enjoyed rapid growth over the past 10 years, driven by industry-leading service levels, expansion of the growing facilities and sophisticated crop yield maximisation.

The combined business will supply tomatoes to several of the UK’s large multiple food retailers.Mark Pearson, managing director of APS, said: “The acquisition of WSL is a fantastic opportunity for APS. It allows us to create a British business of real scale, which is good for jobs and good for the industry. We can now focus on long term stability and growth, and work with our advisers and business partners to provide further investment and infrastructural improvements.”

Acquiring WSL has added 66 acres of glasshouses across five sites at Arreton on the Isle of Wight with onsite packing facilities, together with a site at Chichester in West Sussex which houses WSL’s head office, including a 40,000 sq ft packhouse.

Read about the deal here 

— The Business Desk

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11.05.15