KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) – A Canadian pension fund has purchased one of eastern Washington’s leading apple producers.

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan bought Broetje Orchards from founders Ralph and Cheryl Broetje in a deal that closed in late December.

The Tri-City Herald reports that the company employs more than 2,800 people at peak times across the state on more than 6,100 acres of orchards.

The company produces 7 million boxes of apples a year, including its proprietary Opal apple.

The total purchase price was not disclosed.

But the real estate part of the sale was valued at $288 million, according to the excise tax affidavit filed with the Washington Department of Revenue and posted to the Walla Walla County Assessor’s website.

The orchard operations are centered near the town of Prescott.

Information from: Tri-City Herald,

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