Norwegian multinational Tomra Group has signed an agreement to acquire New Zealand-based fruit packing solutions provider BBC Technologies for NZD66.9m ($48.6m).

Based in Hamilton, BBC Technologies designs, develops and produces turnkey lines with traceability and analytics software features.

BBC provides a variety of solutions to packhouses worldwide, which range from bespoke packing lines to off-the-shelf processing equipment.

The company also offers the freshtracker system, which helps track origins and characteristics of individual products from harvesting, processing and packaging to point-of-sale.

“We trust that Tomra can contribute to the continued success of BBC and its customers.”

The acquisition will complement Tomra’s own fruit inspection and grading technology portfolio, as well as its advanced developments in digital data solutions.

Tomra food head Mike Riley said: “This acquisition further increases Tomra’s leadership in grading, sorting, and packaging solutions for fresh, packaged, and processed foods. Following the recent, successful integration of Compac, we are investing more into small fruit and reduced footprint deployments.

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“We are also making large-scale investments to create new value for customers by extracting and analysing data from Tomra equipment, which is complemented by the Freshtracker platform. This is just one example of how combining the two companies will generate significant new value and transform the industry.”

The acquisition will see BBC Technologies’ precision grading systems and new punnet and clamshell filling solutions for blueberries and other small fruits join Tomra Food’s own fruit inspection and grading technology portfolio.

BBC will be operated as a division of Tomra and led by its head Geoff Furniss, who will in turn report to Mike Riley.

Tomra president and CEO Stefan Ranstrand said: “We admire the work done by the BBC team in developing leading technologies, market position and their long-term commitment to customers.

“We are fully committed to continue supporting this strategy jointly with BBC’s leadership team and working together to find new ways to further enhance local presence, aftersales support and technology development. We trust that Tomra can contribute to the continued success of BBC and its customers.”