Long-standing industry-leading Hawke's Bay fruit-stock operation Pattullo's Nurseries has been sold in a two-part arrangement which creates one of New Zealand's biggest suppliers of specialist trees to the orchard industry.
The acquisition of the nurseries, a Pattullo family operation for more than 60 years and based at Links Rd, near the roundabout intersection with the Hawke's Bay Expressway between Napier and Hastings, was announced by Derek Edwards, chief executive of Genesis Nurseries, which 2 years ago bought Cambridge operation McGrath Nurseries.
He said the combination of two of New Zealand's leading fruit tree nurseries under the new Genesis Nurseries brand will present orchardists with a range and combinations of rootstock and plant varieties not previously in the New Zealand marketplace.
Pattullo's has supplied quality fruit trees to the New Zealand pip and stone fruit industry, and McGrath, renamed Genesis Nurseries, is a major supplier of apple, cherry and summerfruit trees to commercial growers throughout the country.
The second part of the deal is Genesis' acquisition of a 38 per cent shareholding in intellectual property company New Zealand Fruit Tree Company (NZFTC) by Genesis entity GPE Nurseries Limited Partnership, including the shares held by Pattullo's vendor Kerry Sixtus, a founder.
NZFTC is a specialist IP company, New Zealand's largest private importer of commercial fruit tree varieties, and represents many major plant breeding programmes.
Both Sixtus and the Waikato operation's Andy McGrath had successfully developed innovative nurseries each focused on different rootstocks and exclusive plant varieties.
"The combination of the two businesses will provide the industry with an exciting new opportunity to access the best new varieties to suit their requirements," Edwards said.
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"This is an exciting development for the industry, especially the apple sector at a time when demand for New Zealand apples overseas is soaring and new plantings are needed to meet this demand."
He said Genesis has plans to meet this apple growth and to expand its offering in the cherry and other stone fruit sectors and looks forward to a close working relationship with growers.
It will continue to grow trees on the sites in both Hawke's Bay and Waikato, and sell nationwide. Sixtus retains a stake and one of his sons remains as day-to-manager of the Hawke's Bay operation.
The Pattullo transaction will settle on August 25, after the harvest of the 2021 trees, and is effectively a meeting of pathways.
Sixtus said he approached the new owners as Pattullo's Nurseries considered its options for the future, including succession, which is consistent with the GPE strategy of targeting succession and expansion opportunities in small to medium-sized businesses.