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Total Produce plc, located in Dublin, Ireland, announced Dec. 17 that it has brokered a deal to acquire a majority interest in The Oppenheimer Group, headquartered in Vancouver, BC.

Under the terms of the deal, Total Produce will control 65 percent of the company in a two-phase deal. In January, Total Produce will acquire 35 percent of Oppenheimer's shares. The remaining 30 percent of shares will be acquired in 2017 at a price based on future profits.

OppyPrime Tag Total Produce, a global marketer of fresh fruits and vegetables, continues to expand its international presence. According to the company's website, the company "is now Europe's largest fresh produce provider. Operating out of 22 countries and with a 2011 turnover in excess of €2.5 billion, the group distributes more than 280 million cartons of fresh produce annually. It employs more than 4,000 people in over 100 locations across the continent."

The Oppenheimer Group is one of North America's leading marketers and distributors of fresh produce. Working with suppliers in more than 25 countries, Oppenheimer markets more than 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables to its retail, wholesale and foodservice customers in the United States and Canada.

"In Total Produce, we are excited by the potential to develop and grow together, and we look forward to benefiting from bringing together the vast experience of the exceptional teams across both our groups," Total Produce Chief Executive Officer Rory Byrne said in a statement.

John Anderson, Oppenheimer's chairman, president and chief executive officer, will continue in a leadership capacity. Mr. Anderson is Oppenheimer's majority shareholder, and he will continue to retain 35 percent of Oppenheimer shares after the deal is finalized in 2017. ENZA, the New Zealand-based apple marketer which owns 15 percent of David Oppenheimer and Co., will retain its shares at the same level.

Total Produce has been growing its international business, and the venture with Oppenheimer provides the company with an entry point into North American business. The venture also allows Oppenheimer to expand its business beyond North America.

STRAP"We are delighted by the opportunity to enter this alliance with Total Produce," Mr. Anderson said in a statement. "This partnership strengthens our ability to grow strategically to the benefit of our growers and customers while continuing to operate autonomously."

Mr. Anderson went on to say that both companies operate with similar business models, and he anticipates increased global business growth for both as a result.

"While we'll be exploring new opportunities in the background, the day-to-day interactions our customers and growers have with our team will not change," Mr. Anderson added. "We will remain the 'Oppy' that our friends in the industry know and enjoy doing business with. If anything, our 'Expect The World From Us' promise will resonate even stronger, thanks to the new synergies we have with Total Produce."