Florida corn, bean company sells land

08/19/2014 11:24:00 AM
Doug Ohlemeier

Steven WilliamsWilliamsKnight Management Inc., a south Florida grower-shipper of sweet corn and green beans, plans to sell its operations to a sugar processing company.

The Belle Glade, Fla.-based operation is in talks with Clewiston, Fla.-based U.S. Sugar Corp., Steven Williams, Knight Management’s president, confirmed.

Williams declined to provide details or state terms of the proposed $100 million transaction, according to media reports.

Duda Farm Fresh Foods Inc., the fresh division of Oviedo, Fla.-based A. Duda & Sons Inc., markets Knight Management’s corn.

Knight grows on about 20,000 acres and packs 1.4 million-1.8 million crates of sweet corn annually, Williams stated in previous media reports.

U.S. SugarThe company also rents land to other area lettuce growers.

He declined to provide information on current acreage.

“We have signed confidentially agreements and as advised by legal counsel, we’re not allowed to talk until sometime after the closing,” Williams said.

Williams did say the deal could be completed by late August or early fall.

“United States Sugar Corporation and Knight Management, Inc. have entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement whereby U.S. Sugar will purchase the assets of the Knight organizations,” U.S. Sugar officials said in a statement. “The terms and conditions of the Purchase and Sale Agreement are subject to a Confidentiality Agreement. In the interim, all business operations will be conducted as normal.”

The proposed Knight sale follows Duda in 2011 turning over its sugarcane business to U.S. Sugar.

That deal provided Duda increased access to U.S. Sugar-owned land for vegetable production, Duda officials stated.

Knight’s other operations include Knight Agriculture LLC and Knight Real Estate Holdings LLC.

Knight also grows sugarcane and sod.

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