Food and Beverage Business
Finance

Montague, an Australian fruit supplier, merges with local counterpart Pomona Valley.

Montague, an Australian fruit supplier, merges with local counterpart Pomona Valley. Fresh produce Food and Beverage Business

In a strategic move, Canada-based investment fund Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers’) and its Australian agri-food subsidiary AustOn Corporation (AustOn) have announced a new partnership with Australian fruit producer Montague. The partnership involves Pomona Valley, an Australian apple and stone fruit producer owned by AustOn, acquiring a majority equity interest in Montague.

As a result of the partnership, Pomona Valley and Montague will merge to form one business. This merge will be led by Scott Montague, who will continue to play a significant role as the general manager of the operations. The completion of this transaction, requiring regulatory approval, is anticipated in the first half of 2024.

“The partnership with AustOn and the merger with Pomona Valley signals the next exciting stage in the growth of Montague. The financial backing of a global investor in agriculture opens a range of possibilities that both businesses have been keen to explore,” said Scott Montague.

The move has been described as a strategic partnership focused on long-term, sustainable growth of Pomona Valley and Montague as they embark on the next phase as a merged business. Christopher Metrakos, senior managing director of natural resources at Ontario Teachers’, emphasized Montague’s position as “a vertically integrated grower, packer and marketer of fruit in Australia” and “at the forefront of the fresh produce industry in Australia.”

According to Ontario Teacher’s press release, Montague is a “category leader across apples, supplying high-quality fresh produce to major supermarkets and wholesalers nationally; and into the export market”. The Australian fruit company owns brands such as Jazz Apple, Eve, and Ambrosia.

Pomona Valley, on the other hand, grows and packs pome and stone fruits in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley. AustOn Corporation, as the Australian agriculture arm of Ontario Teachers’, has been operating in Australia since 2018, managing various farms in the country.

This strategic move aligns with Ontario Teachers’ history of investing in the farming sector both in Australia and worldwide. Earlier this year, the global investor acquired a majority stake in Mitolo Family Farms, which supplies potatoes and onions in Australia. This move reflects Ontario Teachers’ commitment to long-term sustainable growth in the food and beverage industry.

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