Nidera acquires Criddle & Co grain business

Nidera UK, the domestic arm of the Rotterdam-based international grain trading business, has established a presence in the North West region through the acquisition of Criddle & Co’s grain trading business from Edward Billington & Son. The deal, which completes on December 1st, is Nidera’s second UK acquisition this year.

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Criddle & Co trades in over 80 commodities as preferred supplier to the Billington Group of feed and food ingredient, manufactured foodstuffs and bioenergy businesses. This includes the Carr’s Billington Agriculture (CBA) joint venture feed manufacturing operation with the Carr’s Group, which comprises three feed mills and three blending plants. Criddle has its headquarters in Liverpool’s Cunard building alongside the rest of the Billington Group, with a separate grain buying office in Wem, Shropshire.

The Criddle family started in sugar in 1858, and joined Billington in 1898, shortly before the Group’s sugar interests were sold and the Criddle brand transferred to a new Liverpool feed mill in 1902. This compound feed business became Criddle Burgess in 1970 and CBA in 1998. 

"This agreement represents a perfect fit between the two companies and a very positive development for all stakeholders,” says Lloyd Whiteley, chairman of The Billington Group. “With its growing presence throughout the arable supply chain, both nationally and internationally, Nidera is ideally placed to develop and grow this business, ensuring that it continues to go from strength to strength.

“Despite the change in ownership, the business will retain its status as preferred supplier of combinable crops to the compound feed business of The Billington Group.”

For Nidera UK, chief executive Mark Dordery adds that the deal will create value for both parties and their customers. "This agreement complements our ongoing strategy of expanding and diversifying our existing business by widening our geographic reach. It brings the benefits of Nidera’s global grain trading strength and marketing insight to local growers, enabling closer links with industry consumers of combinable crops and allowing them to access our expanding range of seeds and fertilisers and associated technical advice.

"The move will allow us to serve the needs of our growing client base of producers and consumers of combinable crops. As we see ongoing concentration within our industry sector, this agreement enhances choice for growers and consumers in this important arable region,” Mr Dordery concludes. “Our intention is very much to invest in Criddle’s existing resources and its highly professional team, which is well established and respected throughout the local region.”

Criddle & Co will continue to be led by grain trading director Stewart Johnson. "This is great news for our farming clients, who will have access to unrivalled market intelligence provided by Nidera's global network and will enjoy the security that a major international agribusiness provides,” he says.

"Our people will continue to be based at their existing offices in Liverpool and Wem, which will give both farmers and consumers the continued benefit of local service."

Nidera UK has its headquarters near Ipswich in Suffolk, from where it runs the Ipswich Grain Terminal that handles a million tonnes of grain - over a third of the UK’s average annual wheat exports.  It also has storage and processing facilities in York, and acquired the specialist seed business Grainseed earlier this year (ATN June 5th).