Lloyd’s Animal Feeds Group has bought the C M Varley & Co animal feed manufacturing business. The move grows the company’s presence in the North East feed market and underlines its ambition to supply feed to most parts of the UK. Financial details and manufacturing volumes are not being disclosed.
CM Varley & Co has been based to the east of Darlington for more than 165 years. It becomes part of the Lloyds Group, but will continue to trade under its long-established identity from its current premises. Varley sales director David Helliwell joins the new CM Varley & Co board alongside Lloyd's directors Mark Meynell as managing director; Ray Asquith, operations director and finance director Steve Haycock.
Shropshire-based Lloyd's has an integrated poultry operation, Country Fresh Pullets which rears over five million pullets a year – claimed to be over half of the nation’s pullets for egg production. As well as the poultry volume, the Group makes ruminant and pig rations at its mills at Oswestry; Langport in Somerset and Wrexham in Wales. The business first secured a presence in the North East through the FeedCo joint venture established in 2002 with local co-operative Farmway at the latter’s Piercebridge feed mill to the west of Darlington. When Mole Valley Farmers acquired the assets of the Farmway business in 2013, Lloyds became sole owner of the Piercebridge facility. As well as contract manufacturing for MVF, the mill makes a range of feeds for Lloyd’s customer accounts in the region.
“This is a fantastic acquisition for the group and complements our existing four feed mills, including Piercebridge,” states Mr Meynell.
“Unfortunately there were no family members to continue our tradition,” comments Philippa Herbert of the Varley family. “So it was decided to find a buyer who shared our family values and could safeguard our legacy. We feel that we have found the ideal partner in Lloyd's.”