Press release

Planasa acquires the North American company NorCal Nursery

01 June 2017

Planasa, a European leader in the horticultural products sector, has acquired the NorCal company, a major strawberry and raspberry nursery located in Red Bluff (California). This acquisition adds to Planasa’s current agricultural operations in Spain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Morocco, Chile, China, Mexico and the United States.

NorCal is a family-run business with over 85 years of experience in the nursery and fruit production industry. This purchase enables Planasa to expand its activity in California, where it has had its own strawberry plant production nursery since 2011. Now, the combined sales volume of the two companies will allow Planasa to become one of the largest strawberry plant nurseries in the United States.

“NorCal is a well-known company with a far-reaching history, a good team and strategic real estate for operations in the USA. Our aim is to provide NorCal with financial and management resources so it can be brought up to date, stimulating growth and increasing its market share”, affirms Alexandre Pierron-Darbonne, the president of Planasa.

In turn, Planasa California is currently in its sixth season of strawberry and raspberry production. “At Planasa we spotted the opportunity to improve the existing offer of strawberry plants in the United States by introducing modern and improved technologies for their production. Just several years down the line, we can already confirm that we have contributed to significantly improving the quality of the plants that are sold on the market”, confirms Alexandre Pierron-Darbonne.

Exponential growth

Planasa has grown year on year in its over four decades of operation, achieving particularly significant evolution over the past three or four years. In fact, the company increased its 59.2-million euro turnover in 2013, to 106.3 million euros in 2016. The acquisition of NorCal in 2017 will considerably increase the US contribution to Planasa’s turnover.

In terms of generating employment over the past three years, Planasa has doubled its number of employees, a figure that currently stands at over 2,000.

Over the past few years, Planasa, which specialises in breeding varieties, nurseries and fruit production, has developed strawberry varieties such as Sabrosa-Candonga and Sabrina, and raspberry varieties such as Adelita and Lupita.
“Candonga and Sabrina are two leading varieties in Europe. In Mexico we are developing a new variety called 0949, which is working very well. The 0949 and 0232 varieties have also established a reasonable share within the Californian market”, comments Alexandre Pierron-Darbonne.

The company, immersed in geographic expansion in the nursery and horticultural product business, is also widening its range with the development of new varieties of blueberries and blackberries, with trials set to commence in different parts of Europe and America in 2018.