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Gerawan Farms stonefruit is marketed under the Prima brand.

published on September 25, 2019 - 1:50 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Gerawan Farming and Wawona Packing Co. announced Wednesday that the farming giants have completed a merger.

CEO Dan Gerawan, who is also the largest individual shareholder, will helm the combined company. Brent Smittcamp, current executive chairman of Cutler-based Wawona, “will also remain a significant shareholder and continue to be highly involved with the combined company,” according to a news release.

Paine Schwartz, an existing investor in Wawona, is partnering with both companies to facilitate the transaction, the financial terms of which were not disclosed.

Both companies are third-generation family businesses. Fresno-based Gerawan is a stone fruit farming and packing operation marketed under the Prima brand. Wawona also supplies stone fruit and is a leader in the organic segment of the market, according to the news release.

“At Gerawan, innovating on a large scale to grow, pack and ship the world’s best fruit has been key to our success, and those efforts have always hinged on investing in our employees,” Gerawan said in a statement. “These same values underpin Wawona’s success. This merger is an exciting next step to unlock the full potential of both companies.”

The combined firm’s management team will be comprised of leaders from both companies.

“Over the last several years, we have focused on accelerating Wawona’s growth by building on the inherent strengths of our business and management team. Our acquisition last year of Burchell Nursery Inc. was one example, and now this historic merger with Gerawan takes it to yet another level,” Smittcamp said in a statement. “We are eager to bring the benefits of this merger to our employees, suppliers and customers.”


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