Commodity trader and shipper Cefetra has completed its takeover of the Wessex Grain co-operative crop storage and marketing business this week, following shareholder approval of its initial bid last month (ATN October 30th).
Cefetra Ltd, based in Glasgow, is the UK operation of the Cefetra Group, which in turn is part of the €15 billion BayWa agricultural trading, farm machinery, building materials and energy conglomerate which has its headquarters in Munich.
An extraordinary general meeting received support from the majority of Wessex Grain’s 270 farmer shareholders after its board had unanimously recommended the sale. As well as its 70,000 tonnes of storage capacity at Henstridge in Somerset, the company’s grain trading team handles around 450,000 tonnes of grain annually. Cefetra trades more than 3.5 million tonnes of grains in the UK each year, and says the country is an important origin of grains for export to markets such as the Benelux countries, Spain and Ireland, where the BayWa Group has extensive distribution operations through Cefetra.
“The farmer shareholders have been very supportive and we are glad that the negotiations and the takeover process went so smoothly,” says Andrew Mackay, managing director of Cefetra Ltd. “With the background of several years working together very successfully, this co-operation has now grown a further step.” Mr Mackay notes that Wessex Grain has a strong network of domestic customers including feed compounders, flour and oat millers, maltsters and oilseed crushers.
BayWa chief executive Klaus Josef Lutz adds: “The acquisition of Wessex Grain is another step in our strategy to expand in international markets where BayWa Group is already active. By intensifying our origination business in south and southwest England we achieve a closer relationship to the local farmers and therefore benefit from an improved position to serve food and feed customers both in the UK and in Europe.”