PROSSER, Wash., Oct 13, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. has finalized the sale of its wholly-owned subsidiary, Milne Fruit Products, Inc., of Prosser, Wash., to Wyckoff Farms, Inc., a family-owned agribusiness company. The companies had announced a purchase-and-sale agreement in April
Founded in 1957 and a subsidiary of Ocean Spray for nearly 20 years, Milne is one of the larger fruit processing facilities in the Pacific Northwest, with a customer base across the U.S. and abroad. With 2003 revenues of $30.8 million, Milne processes primarily Concord grapes, cranberries, cherries and other berry fruits into 100 percent all-natural juice concentrates, puree concentrates, and customized fruit blends and premixes.
Wyckoff Farms has indicated that it intends to maintain Milne's current management, employee and grower base, while expanding its fruit processing operations and product portfolio. As part of a long-term supply agreement, Milne will continue to produce many of the specialty juice concentrates and blends that Ocean Spray uses in its portfolio.
Ocean Spray VP of Operations Michael Stamatakos said the sale of Milne reflects Ocean Spray's intent to focus on - and expand - its core operations, which include the receiving, processing and marketing of cranberries. In fact, Ocean Spray two weeks ago announced that it was purchasing all of the cranberry processing assets and current inventory of unprocessed cranberries of Wisconsin-based Northland Cranberries Inc.
"Ocean Spray is growing, as a brand and as a worldwide supplier of cranberry concentrate and other forms of cranberry," said Stamatakos. "The purchase of Northland's assets in Wisconsin and the sale of the Milne facility in Washington are part of our ongoing plan to grow our enterprise and focus on our core ingredients."
David Wyckoff, president of Wyckoff Farms, said he looks forward to growing and expanding the Milne business as a full-service processor of a wide variety of fruit.
"Wyckoff Farms and its senior management are extremely pleased to conclude our purchase of Milne Fruit Products," he said . "We are looking forward to working with the Milne management organization and employees to continue to improve and expand the company. We especially look forward to a long and mutually beneficial supply relationship with Ocean Spray."
Wyckoff Farms is a multi-generational, family-owned business. Founded in 1950, Wyckoff is a diversified producer of mint oil, hops, fruit, grapes, and other crops in Washington State. Wyckoff Farms is a supplier of Concord and Niagara juice grapes to Milne and other processors. Wyckoff Farms and its winery, Coventry Vale Winery, also produce premium wine grapes and premium French varietal wine in Washington.
Financial terms of the sale are not being publicly divulged.
Milne has a diversified base of some 200 customers, including many of the leading brands of fruit-based beverages and foods in the world, notably Minute Maid, Tropicana, Snapple, Tree Top and ConAgra Foods.
Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. is the number one brand of bottled juice drinks in the U.S., with 2004 gross sales of $1.4 billion. Formed in 1930, the cooperative is made up of cranberry growers from Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, Quebec and other parts of Canada, as well as grapefruit growers from Florida.