FORT MYERS — Alico, one of the largest citrus producers in the country, closed out 2020 with a land deal under the Florida Forever program worth nearly $15 million.
The agreement, according to a statement, grants Florida the option to purchase about 5,804 acres of Alico Ranch for $14.6 million. If Florida officials exercise the option, closing would be in the third quarter of Alico’s 2021 fiscal year, say company officials in the statement. Over the last two years, Alico has sold some 16,000 acres to Florida for permanent protection under the Florida Forever program. The company also sold 10,702 acres, on the west side of Alico Ranch, to the state under the land-protection program in September.
“We are pleased the State of Florida has approved entering into this latest option agreement which grants it an option to purchase approximately 5,804 acres on the west side of the Alico Ranch,” Alico President and CEO John Kiernan says in the statement. “The 5,804-acre parcel is considered a primary and secondary zone for the federally endangered Florida panther and can contribute to increased protection of Florida’s biodiversity at the species, natural community, and landscape levels.”
Fort Myers-based Alico primarily operates two divisions: Alico Citrus, one of the nation’s largest citrus producers, and Alico Land Management and Other Operations, which include environmental services, land leasing and related support operations. It posted $122.35 million in revenue in 2019.