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Black Diamond Sells Sun World

Renewable Resources Group has acquired Sun World International. Financial terms weren’t announced. Black Diamond Capital Management was the seller. Bakersfield, Calif.-based Sun World grows, markets and breeds produce such as seedless grapes, sweet peppers, stonefruits and other fruits and vegetables.


LOS ANGELES, Aug. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Renewable Resources Group, Inc. (RRG), a California-based asset management firm with a focus on agriculture and other sustainable resources, announced that it has purchased Sun World International, LLC (Sun World), the world-renowned fresh produce company headquartered in Bakersfield, California, from Black Diamond Capital Management, LLC, an alternative asset management firm based in Greenwich, Connecticut.
“Sun World is an extraordinarily valuable company with a strong and experienced management team and first-class employees who deliver famously delicious fruits and vegetables and industry-leading marketing, licensing and research-and-development operations,” said RRG President Ari Swiller.  “It’s a company we’ve watched and respected for a long time.”
Black Diamond’s Christopher W. Parker, who is Sun World’s outgoing Chairman of the Board said:  “Sun World has been an important portfolio company for Black Diamond, and we are proud to have worked with Dave Dever, the Sun World President and CEO, and his team. We are very proud of what we have all accomplished together, and we are pleased that this acquisition provides Sun World with the opportunity to continue to thrive and build for the future.”
Sun World President and CEO Dave Dever said:  “For the past eight years, Sun World has benefited enormously from its relationship with Black Diamond.  Black Diamond has worked with us to stabilize, grow and cement our place as a leader in the industry. As we continue to grow the company and focus on delivering superior products and services to our customers, a partnership with RRG is exciting.  This new partnership will allow Sun World to continue to strengthen and grow alongside its customers.”
RRG has been active in Kern County for more than a decade, and has extensive farming operations in Riverside County, both of which are home to significant Sun World operations. About two years ago, RRG purchased approximately 4,000 acres nearBlythe, California, from Sun World.
The transaction closed August 9, 2013, and Sun World operations are continuing unchanged.
Swiller said:  “We all know this is the height of the season for Sun World, and so the change in ownership will be swift and seamless, with no change to operations, personnel or administration. Sun World’s senior executive team will continue in their posts. Employees’ job responsibilities and benefit plans will not change. And, most importantly, Sun World will continue to provide its customers and partners with the delicious fresh produce they know and love.”
About Sun World International, LLC
Sun World International is a world-renowned grower, marketer and breeder of premium produce varieties, with a full line of tasty seedless grapes, sweet peppers, stonefruits and other distinctive fruits and vegetables. Sun World’s growing operations are inCalifornia, and it has a domestic and international network of licensed partner growers featuring its proprietary products. Sun World is headquartered in Bakersfield, California, and also has offices in Italy, Australia, Chile, Mexico and South Africa.
About Renewable Resources Group, Inc.
Renewable Resources Group, Inc. (RRG), is an asset management firm specializing in rural land, agriculture, water, conservation and renewable energy. RRG approaches them as sustainable resources to be managed responsibly and appropriately for their local circumstances. RRG has owned and managed agricultural operations across California for more than a decade. Additionally, RRG has developed major sustainable water and renewable energy projects. These include the largest solar photovoltaic facility in the world – the Antelope Valley Solar Project, which is now owned by MidAmerican Renewables – and the Antelope Valley Water Bank, an underground water storage facility. RRG is privately held and is headquartered in Los Angeles.
About Black Diamond Capital Management, LLC
Black Diamond Capital Management, LLC, is a privately held alternative asset management firm. Black Diamond manages more than $11 billion in assets across the company’s four lines of businesses: Control Distressed/Private Equity, Hedge Funds, European Debt Funds and CLO’s and other structured vehicles.