Ocean Spray Sells Headquarters to Raise Capital for Investments

A green frog is seen relaxing on a bed of bright red cranberries as workers in the background prepare to start harvesting the bog of red berries in Carver, Mass., Sept. 28, 1990. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

A green frog is seen relaxing on a bed of bright red cranberries as workers in the background prepare to start harvesting the bog of red berries in Carver, Mass., Sept. 28, 1990. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

LAKEVILLE – The Oceanspray Cranberries, Inc. headquarters in Lakeville has been sold but employees don’t need to worry about moving or looking for new jobs.

The cooperative sold the property to a real estate investment firm and has agreed to lease it back for 20 years.

“We are not changing any of our operations,” said Kellyanne Dignan, a spokeswoman for Ocean Spray. “Everything day-to-day at Ocean Spray remains the same.”

The company is Lakeville’s largest employer and remains committed to keeping its headquarters there.

“I have been joking that I am only 35 years old and I will retire from this building,” Dignan said.

The price of the sale is believed to be around $40 million but a price would not be confirmed by Dignan.

She said transactions like these happen often.

“They allow us to free up some capital and use that to invest in other areas of our business,” Dignan said.

Ocean Spray is a cooperative of more than 700 growers in North America.

“We’re always looking for ways to make our capital work to return more money to their farms,” she said. “Whether that be in marketing, or in products, or in manufacturing it just depends, but we want to make sure that that capital is working the best it can for them.”

The cooperative produces about 60 percent of the world’s cranberries which can be found in 100 countries around the globe.

A.D. Makepeace, which has bogs mostly located in Wareham, is Ocean Spray’s largest grower in Massachusetts.

The cranberry is the state’s largest cash crop.

Massachusetts is expected to yield another solid cranberry crop this year, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.

The service is predicting a crop of 2.07 million barrels, which would be down about 5 percent from last year. Each barrel is equal to about 100 pounds.

The 2015 cranberry crop was the second highest in the state’s history.

by BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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