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German fruit supplier BayWa Aktiengesellschaft is making a takeover play for the 114-year-old horticulture giant Turners & Growers, according to the NZHerald.co.nz.

And a pre-bid agreement with majority shareholder Guinness Peat Group means it already has 63.5% of the shares locked up.

The offer is for all shares in NZX-listed Turners & Growers at $1.85 a share, valuing the company at $216.5 million, with conditions including getting consent under the Overseas Investment Act 2005.

Turners & Growers, which listed on the stock exchange in 2004, traces its history back to 1883 when Edward Turner arrived from England and set up a fruit and flower shop in Auckland, with Turners & Growers founded in 1897.

Produce grown by Turner & Growers, which merged with pipfruit exporter ENZA in 2003, includes apples, hothouse tomatoes and citrus.

Munich-based BayWa said Turners & Growers’ presence on five continents would enable BayWa to expand its offering in the fruit business and to access global growth markets, particularly Asia where Turners & Growers was already established.

BayWa chief executive Klaus Josef Lutz said the takeover was a ground-breaking step towards globalisation for the company.

Turners & Growers has 45 companies worldwide including growing, packing and transport operations, and gross turnover of $847.2 million for the year ended December 31.

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