Company buys 3 Florida citrus producers

Author: Associated Press

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) – Alico Inc. is buying three Florida citrus operations for $363 million in an aggressive move that the Fort Myers company says will make it the largest citrus producer in the country.

The Tampa Bay Times ( ) reports that Wednesday’s announcement is the $274 million acquisition of Orange-Co. LP, which has one of the largest contiguous citrus grove properties in the state. The deal was financed in part through proceeds from Alico’s recently announced $97 million sale of its sugarcane assets.

Separately, Alico is also buying Silver Nip Citrus for $72 million, and Gator Grove for $16.6 million.

Together, the deals will boost Alico’s annual production to about 10 million boxes, or roughly 10 percent of Florida’s citrus production.

Shares in Alico surged in early trading, up nearly 17 percent.

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