Hanford, CA, December 11, 2020 – Harrison Co., an investment banking firm dedicated to advising family-owned businesses in better-for-you consumer product categories, today announced it advised Warmerdam Packing (the “Company”), a leading producer of specialty fruit in California using controlled environment technology, on its strategic investment from private equity firm, Fiera Comox.
Founded in 1965 by Bill and Audrey Warmerdam, the Company is the largest cherry packer in the southern San Joaquin Valley – farming over 1,500 acres and processing over six million cartons of kiwis, cherries, plums, and a proprietary hybrid called the Verry Cherry Plum®. The Company is managed by John Warmerdam who continued his father’s innovative legacy by developing a patented growing system called Dormancy Control Technology (“DC Tech”). DC Tech is a controlled environment with a proven ability to increase cherry yields, color, and harvest timing by regulating when trees enter and break dormancy.
“As a family-owned business, we faced multiple challenges during our transaction. Bill Harrison and Nancy Ervin drove the process forward, through and around all obstacles,” said John Warmerdam. “When our CFO resigned in the middle of due diligence, Harrison Co. used their network to quickly find an interim CFO, and their knowledge of ag accounting was crucial in getting the buyer comfortable with our internal financials prior to close.”
The investment from Fiera Comox will allow Warmerdam to recapitalize its balance sheet while also investing heavily in future growth opportunities and follows a similar investment Fiera Comox made in Auvil Fruit Company, a Washington-based producer of apples and cherries, in 2019.
“We now have a financial partner with a shared vision and the capital for growth,” added John Warmerdam.
Nancy Ervin, Partner at Harrison Co. commented, “It was an honor to represent such an amazing family. The Warmerdams are a legacy in the Central Valley, known for their delicious fruit, innovative farming practices, and deep commitment to the community. The next chapter for John Warmerdam with Fiera Comox as his partner will be extremely exciting.”
ABOUT HARRISON CO. LLC
Harrison Co. is a consumer-focused investment banking firm and unapologetic advocate for family-owned businesses. Harrison Co. works exclusively with owners and operators across the entire spectrum of the healthy lifestyle space, from farming to food to fitness. The team of experienced senior financial experts helps clients make critical strategic business, mergers and
acquisitions, and financing decisions to ensure optimal outcomes. Offices located in Fresno, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and London enable the partners to provide highly personal, customized service to their valued clients.