The board of farmer-controlled grain marketing and storage business Wessex Grain has unanimously approved a takeover offer from feed materials importer and distributor Cefetra UK. Completion is subject to the agreement of 75% of the co-operative's 200 or so farmer shareholders across Dorset and Somerset.
Wessex Grain has had a distribution and marketing agreement in place with Cefetra for some time. The latest move builds on the “positive and collaborative relationship” between the two companies.
"We see great potential with the two companies working together and we plan to build upon the success of our existing distribution agreement to expand both the tonnage and the range of operations for Wessex Grain,” states Cefetra managing director Andrew Mackay. "To date, Cefetra's strength in the UK has been in imported materials. We are now looking to expand our reach to the domestic market and see Wessex Grain as a key part of this development."
For Wessex Grain, managing director Simon Wilcox adds: "Grain trading has changed significantly in recent years and we are recommending acceptance of the offer. Not only will our shareholders benefit from an immediate cash return but, vitally, the deal will ensure Wessex Grain retains and enhances its position as a strong regional grain buyer on the back of Cefetra's access and relationships to key markets both within the UK and across Europe."
Wessex Grain was established in 1980 at Henstridge in Somerset, since when it has grown to its current 70,000 tonnes of storage, including 17,000 tonnes of flat storage. The trading team handles an annual 450,000 tonnes of combinable crops in an area stretching from Cornwall to Sussex and Buckinghamshire to South Wales. It also exports grain from South coast ports.
Cefetra UK is part of the Rotterdam-based Cefetra Group, which has been part of the German trading group BayWa since 2013, following its sale by the ForFarmers Group and two other Dutch feed co-operatives for €125 million.