Spanish firm Grupo Alimentario Citrus (GAC) has purchased two ready-to-eat salad producing facilities from French cooperative group Agrial for an undisclosed amount.

This move is part of its overseas expansion strategy, which was launched in 2015 and saw the addition of Germany-based Thurländer in October 2018.

Josef Muller facility is located near Zurich in Switzerland and has 130 employees. The Novara Salads facility is located close to Milan, Italy, and employs 44 people.

Agrial and GAC are involved in the production of fresh produce and ready-to-eat salads. They cater to supermarkets, foodservice and Horeca customers.

“The new plants in Switzerland and Italy represent a milestone in our international growth plan and strengthen us in order to carry on growing even more sustainably.”

GAC’s general manager Rafael Boix said: “We want to become the first choice for consumers when it comes to fresh, healthy produce and with this acquisition, we can take our innovative capacity and our assortment to new markets and new consumers.

“The new plants in Switzerland and Italy represent a milestone in our international growth plan and strengthen us in order to carry on growing even more sustainably.”

Following the acquisition, the facilities will continue to cater to Swiss and Italian markets. Those employed at the facilities will not be affected

Boix added: “We are going to work hard to make the most of the enormous potential that both the Swiss and Italian plants have, with their modern facilities and excellent locations.

“It’s all about bringing projects together: we’ll drive both centres forward in terms of innovation, taking advantage of the immense knowledge of the local markets and their consumers, both teams have, to carry on growing side by side.”

With this latest purchase, GAC now owns seven ready-to-eat processing plants, four of which are in Spain.