Prima Wawona liquidates most of its farmland

Valley farm companies have snatched up much of the land, but another Wall Street investment firm has a $25 million deal in place.

Almost all of the farmland that was owned by bankrupt peach producer Prima Wawona has been sold. 

Only around 1,300 of the 13,500 acres remain, according to a report form McClatchy.  


The backstory: Prima Wawona declared bankruptcy last year, and after not moving forward with a $275 million credit bid, the company put its land up for sale in January. 

The big picture: Central Valley fruit packers lined up to purchase the land, with Sun Pacific and Moonlight Companies joining together as the largest buyer, according to court documents. 

  • They spent $91 million to purchase around 5,000 acres. 
  • McClatchy reported that Sun Pacific, which is known for producing mandarin oranges called cuties, plans to have the vast majority of the land remain in tree fruit farming. 
  • Sun Pacific is located in Fresno, Tulare and Kern Counties, while Moonlight Companies is located in Reedley. 

Go deeper: Prima Wawona also has a deal in place to sell land to PGIM, the asset management arm of Prudential Financial life insurance company. 

  • That would continue, in part, Wall Street’s influence on Central Valley farmland, as investment company Paine Schwartz bought Wawona Packing and Gerawan Farming to form Prima Wawona several years ago. 
  • PGIM will purchase 821 acres in Fresno and Tulare Counties for $25 million. 

Statement from Wawona Frozen Foods: The San Joaquin Valley-based, family-owned and operated Wawona Frozen Foods is not affiliated in any way with the fresh fruit company, Prima Wawona. Wawona Frozen Foods is a third-generation company which just celebrated its 60th year in business and is among the largest frozen fruit companies in the nation.

Related Posts