Citrus

Seminole Tribe buys majority stake in Winter Haven’s Blue Lake Citrus

 

ebenn@MiamiHerald.com

The Seminole Tribe of Florida has expanded its reach into the citrus industry by acquiring a 60 percent stake of Winter Haven-based Blue Lake Citrus Products.

The deal, announced Thursday, positions Blue Lake for “significant growth” of its Noble brand of fruit juices, snacks and other citrus products, the tribe said in a statement.

The Seminole Tribe previously acquired Blue Lake’s sales and marketing arm, Noble Food Service, in April 2013. Through that partnership, Noble’s products and the Seminole Pride brand of beef, bottled water and juices have added distribution to grocery stores, restaurants, schools, hotels and hospitals in the United States and Canada.

The Blue Lake plant in Winter Haven produces about seven million gallons of juice products a year. Blue Lake’s owner, Noble Produce Holdings, is a fourth-generation, family-owned business founded in 1927.

“The Tribe is growing and diversifying its business interests by partnering with local Florida, family companies to strengthen the people and agriculture of Florida,” Seminole Tribe of Florida President Tony Sanchez said.

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