RedStar and Looye Kwekers set to join forces
RedStar and Looye Kwekers intend to join forces. This was announced today by the Van der Kaaij and Looije families, owners of the two businesses, to their works councils, staff, customers, business partners and others. Trading under the Looye Kwekers name, the new company will focus on the higher flavour and market segment in tomatoes. The initial turnover will be EUR 180 million.
The two families expect the growth of the new company to offer their staff plenty of opportunities for development. The merger will therefore take place with no compulsory redundancies. The current General Manager of Looye Kwekers, Heleen van Gulik, will head the new company. Redstar’s interim CEO, Kees van Oostenrijk, will step down after the merger. The shareholders in Looye Kwekers will be the Looije family, the Theo en Sophia van der Kaaij charitable foundation (currently known as De Eik) and, with a smaller holding, Cor and Dirk van der Kaaij’s children.
Looye Kwekers and RedStar are leading growers of tasty tomatoes and are active across the globe. Operating as independent family companies, they supply large retail chains both directly and through wholesalers. Looye Kwekers specialises in tasty vine tomatoes and cherry vine tomatoes and occupies a special position in the market with its ‘Honeytomatoes’ and ‘JOYN’ brands. RedStar’s strengths lie mainly in specialities in the < 30 g segment. Well-known RedStar brands are ‘RedStar Romantic’ and ‘RedStar Red Desire’. The two companies have branches in De Lier, Naaldwijk, Burgerveen, Dinteloord, Voorne-Putten, Bergschenhoek and Luttelgeest in the Netherlands and a participating interest in Thanet Earth in the United Kingdom.
The merger enables the two families to respond to the increases in scale that are currently taking place in the fruit and vegetables market, both on the part of suppliers and customers. They intend to use their brands to further strengthen their position in this market while retaining the independent status of a (two-) family business. The details of the merger and the form the new company will take will be worked out over the coming weeks and months. The new company will focus on the future with the aim of encouraging people and nature to grow in a meaningful way. To add flavour and enjoy it.