Prodalim claims to be the fourth largest supplier of orange juice concentrate worldwide, and the top supplier globally of tropical juice and concentrates. Company executives announced the pending Winter Garden asset purchase in mid-August to investors though did not disclose the price, saying it is part of their five-year plan for expansion into North America.
"It will be a great addition to our production and R&D facilities in Brazil, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy," Prodalim CEO Tsahi Berezovsky said in the August statement. "We plan to grow in the U.S. both organically and via our 'build-and-buy' strategy. We feel that Florida is a great place to start, as many of our global clients have their bottling factories in this state."
A company spokesman did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday.
The plant, located on 27.29 acres at 355 9th St. with rail line access, includes seven buildings that date to the 1960s and 1970s. The complex includes tank farms, cold storage rooms and a blending and compounding facility. The tank farm has a storage capacity of 12 million gallons in addition to cold storage capacity of more than 4 million gallons in drums.
The sale includes a long-term agreement for Prodalim to provide storage, blending and tank loading service to Louis Dreyfus.
"With our industrial storage and blending needs managed by Prodalim, LDC will focus its attention on adding not-from-concentrate orange and lemon juices to our existing portfolio of frozen concentrated juices, as well as broadening the range of value-added services to offer our customers," said Adrian Isman, head of North American operations for Louis Dreyfus, in the mid-August statement to investors.
Based in the Netherlands, the Louis Dreyfus Company is one of the four largest agricultural commodity companies in the world. The juice business has been a key component of the company's portfolio for more than 25 years, comprising farming, processing and logistics assets in more than 70 countries that provide global outreach for orange, apple, lemon and lime juices.
A foreshadowing of LDC's decision to sell the plant came in April 2016, when the company sold its frozen concentrate packaging operations to Peace River Citrus, which moved those jobs to Labelle, the Orlando Sentinel reported at the time.
The spinoff resulted in 60 layoffs at the Winter Garden plant. The remaining operations in Winter Garden focused on import blending, sales and distribution.