Jul 21, 2023
AgroFresh acquires postharvest tech company Tessara

AgroFresh Solutions Inc. has acquired Tessara, a postharvest solutions provider.

The acquisition expands AgroFresh’s footprint in food waste reduction and freshness solutions for table grapes and berries and bolsters the organization’s impact in growing regions in South Africa, China, Australia and South America.

“Completing this transaction with Tessara creates significant opportunities for AgroFresh to build upon our diversification strategy and further support our customers in their efforts to grow and distribute an abundant supply of sustainable fresh produce around the world,” Clinton Lewis, AgroFresh CEO, said in a news release. “The acquisition is a perfect fit given Tessara’s and AgroFresh’s alignment on leveraging science-based solutions to advance freshness across the global produce industry and we look forward to bringing the innovative team at Tessara onboard.”

Investment firm Carlyle previously had majority ownership of Tessara, since 2018.

Established in 1988 in South Africa, Tessara has since grown to become a leader in postharvest preservation solutions, which it provides to fresh produce growers worldwide. The company provides SO2 solutions for table grapes, berries, and flowers, protecting more than $3 billion worth of fresh produce annually in more than 30 countries.

“We are proud of the Tessara team and our distinctly South African roots and culture,” Jaco Smit, Tessara CEO, said in the release. “We are also humbled and excited to be part of AgroFresh, the leader in the postharvest agtech space and, together, we will leverage our combined network and innovation resources to build a world-class market leader.”

AgroFresh has been a pioneer in postharvest technology for more than 20 years, starting with the commercialization of the SmartFresh Quality System which is now used in more than 50 countries for apples, pears, plums, kiwis, mangos, broccoli and avocados. AgroFresh’s portfolio has expanded to include plant-based coatings, antimicrobial solutions, equipment and digital platforms that help improve quality and reduce waste across the supply chain.

Rabobank advised Carlyle as the exclusive financial advisor on the transaction. Serving as legal advisers for the transaction for AgroFresh were Morrison & Foerster and Bowman Gilfillan. The transaction remains subject to clearance by the South Africa competition authorities.

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