Agrovista UK has purchased a majority stake in South West Seeds, one of Scotland’s largest independent seeds businesses. All staff will transfer to Agrovista through the transaction.
South West Seeds, based at Closeburn in Dumfriesshire, was founded in 1981 to specialise in the supply of grass seed mixtures and forage crop seeds to the predominantly livestock farming sector in the south west corner of Scotland.
Over subsequent years it expanded into cereal seeds, amenity products, agrochemical distribution and agronomy advice including wholecrop cereal production. Its trading area covers the counties of Ayrshire, Dumfriesshire, Lanarkshire and Wigtownshire plus the islands of Arran and Bute.
Agrovista says the latest deal builds on its ongoing investment into the Wallace of Kelso business it acquired two years ago and strengthens its footprint covering Scotland and the borders through existing depots at Newton Stewart, Elgin, Perth and Morpeth.
“The acquisition is an exceptionally good fit for both companies,” comments James Robertson, group chairman of Agrovista. “It directly complements Agrovista’s market-leading position in specialist agronomy, crop protection, seed, amenity and horticultural supply. During the past 30 years, South West Seeds has gained a reputation for providing quality seed and related products, professional advice and a first class service from its team of highly qualified seed specialists and agronomists.
“We have had a dialogue with South West Seeds for some time and this move is great for all parties,” Mr Robertson continues. “It further emphasises the investment strategy for our company and its global shareholder, the Marubeni Corporation, which has identified agriculture and food production as a core division for the future. Marubeni’s acquisition of Gavilon last year made it the world’s second largest grain handler - coupled with a substantial fertiliser business, this presents great opportunities for our global business.”
For South West Seeds, managing director Stewart Bryson adds: “Agrovista has identified South West Seeds as a key part of its future plans in our trading area. This development allows us and our farmer customers to benefit from being part of a successful, innovative business focusing on technology in the rapidly changing market.”