Morrisons in bananas deal

MORRISONS is to acquire its first banana ripening site as it continues to grow its manufacturing business.

The Bradford supermarket giant will open its new factory in Boston, Lincolnshire, so it has more control over the quality of Britain’s most popular fruit.

The acquisition is a joint venture with Global Pacific, a well established trading partner of Morrisons. The 58,000 sq ft factory is nine years old and was operated by Del Monte until November 2011, when it ceased operation.

The opening of the former Del Monte site in Boston will create up to 80 new jobs in the area, when the site becomes operational in the autumn.

Global Pacific will run the site on behalf of Morrisons. Dalton Philips, chief executive of Morrisons, said: “Bananas are the most popular fruit in the UK so it makes sense for Morrisons to apply its unique approach to food production to simplify the supply chain, cut out costs and improve quality.”

Chris Kilvington, CEO of Global Pacific, said: “We are delighted to be entering into this exciting partnership with Morrisons and look forward to the opportunity to set up and run the site on their behalf.”

The acquisition is the sixth addition to Morrisons’ manufacturing business since 2010, following on from meat factories in Deeside and Winsford, a produce site in Worsley, FlowerWorld in Derby and the Grimsby fish factory.

Morrisons were advised on the acquisition by Andy Brian, a corporate and commercial solicitor with Yorkshire law firm Gordons.

Mr Brian also advised on a significant deal with Chinese menswear retailer Bosideng recently. Bosideng, which has its European headquarters in Bradford,  has signed a deal to become the official formal menswear partner of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club.