Singapore ag conglomerate Olam International acquired Hughson Nut, Inc., one of the largest almond processors in California on Tuesday, the company announced.
Hughson, headquartered in Stanislaus County with processing plants in both Stanislaus and Merced counties, was valued at $54 million, Olam said in a release announcing the sale.
Olam is a major almond grower worldwide. Despite its Singaporean roots, the company’s major ag production occurs in Australia, where it farms nearly 37,000 acres of almonds.
As for its U.S. operations, headquartered in Fresno, the company farms about 10,000 acres of almonds exclusively in California.
The deal, Olam executives said in a statement, allows for the company to gain a larger foothold in the growing U.S. nut market by processing their own crops.
“Our ambition is to grow Olam’s almond business into a vertically integrated player with a strong upstream presence in Australia and the U.S.,” Olam’s Edible Nut chief Ashok Krishen said in a statement.
“Combining [Hughson Nut’s] processing capabilities with Olam’s global network and Edible Nuts expertise will enhance our offering to customers and enable us to meet growing demand, in and outside the U.S.,” he said.
Senior management of Hughson Nut, along with the company’s 400 current employees, will remain in place under Olam ownership. Olam noted that current Hughson growers will continue to supply their new processor with almonds moving forward.
Olam’s purchase of Hughson Nut is expected to close in November, the company said.