Brazilian orange juice firms Citrosuco and Citrovita are to join forces in a deal that will create the world’s largest orange juice company, according to reports.

Citrovita, owned by The Votorantim group, and Citrosuco, controlled by Fischer group, will merge their businesses, with each firm taking a 50% stake in the new company, Reuters reported late last week.

According to the report, the joint venture will have annual revenues of US$1.1bn and will control a quarter of the world’s orange juice market.

Tales Cubero, chief executive of Citrosuco, told reporters in a conference call that the reason for the deal is to “look for the creation of a critical mass, with the top goal to achieve significant operating gains”, Reuters said.

The combined company will have six factories in Brazil, one in the US and eight port terminals, two in Brazil and the remainder in Japan, Belgium, Australia and the US.