Tony Mahoney
Managing Director

With Wolseley's support, the Freshmax Group grew to become the largest independent fresh produce business fully integrated across Australia and New Zealand. With a world-class portfolio of Plant Variety Rights, Freshmax is focused on leading key categories including bananas, apples, citrus, stonefruit, avocados and melons in both local and export markets. Long term supply partnerships in Australia, New Zealand and internationally guarantee year round supply of the highest quality, often exclusive produce to customers which is the perfect complement to the Group's extensive distribution services offering.

During Wolseley's ownership, Freshmax evolved from being a New Zealand centric business  to establishing  a network of distribution centres across Australia.  Annual revenue grew from an initial base of $100M in 2006 to over $365m in 2012, sourced two thirds from Australia and one third from New Zealand.  This outstanding performance was achieved from a series of organic growth initiatives and strategic acquisitions, including John Holman & Co, Panda Ranch, Oztaste, Grewal and De Luca Banana Marketing in Australia and a joint venture farming operation in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand.

Management continued as significant shareholders in the business.  Prior to his appointment in 2010, CEO Tony Mahoney spent more than ten years at Woolworths in several senior operational positions.  Tony joined Freshmax via the acquisition of the Panda Ranch business, where he was working as a specialist consultant.  Executive Vice Chairman, David Smith is a highly experienced and successful global fresh produce executive.  David was previously New Zealand Country Manager, then Australia Country Manager of Chiquita Brands South Pacific prior to returning to New Zealand in 1995 to head ENZA Fresh/Frucor Produce.  In 1997 a management consortium, of which David was the founding member, acquired Frucor Produce to form Freshmax.

"Wolseley is very pleased to have been associated with Freshmax during a remarkable growth period," said James Todd, a Managing Director of Wolseley and previously Chairman of Freshmax.  "Freshmax is the stand-out business in an attractive investment sector and we wish the management team, grower supply partners and the Freshmax Board much continued success in the next stage of the Group's development."

"In addition to financial support, Wolseley provided strategic guidance and acquisition capabilities to facilitate our growth," said Tony Mahoney, Chief Executive Officer of Freshmax.  "It has been a pleasure working with such a great team."

James Todd and Richard Burrows from Wolseley worked with the Freshmax team.