The NWF Group has acquired Jim Peet (Agriculture), the ruminant feed manufacturer based in Cumbria. The move strengthens NWF Agriculture’s presence in the North of England and Scotland feed markets.
The JPA business was started by Jim Peet in 1977, since when it has grown to supply over 50,000 tonnes of dairy, beef and sheep compound and blended feeds each year across Cumbria, Northumberland and South West Scotland. It also makes organic and smallholder ranges.
JPA has two production sites – Sandysike at Longtown, near Carlisle and Brayton Place, Aspatria near Wigton plus a head office at Langwathby, Penrith. The company turned over £13 million in its latest full year.
NWF Agriculture managing director Andrew Downie describes the acquisition as “a fantastic fit for both businesses. NWF Agriculture supplies 100,000 tonnes of product to the North and Scotland and has long sought a supply base for this volume. Jim Peet owns two production facilities that are perfectly placed to supply our Northern tonnage and are ready for expansion and growth. Its salesforce works in geographies which complement the existing salesforces of NWF Agriculture and New Breed UK (acquired by NWF in July 2015).
“The North is and remains a crucial market for NWF Agriculture with 3,000 dairy farms and a huge opportunity for beef and sheep sales growth, a sector where Jim Peet enjoys an excellent reputation.”
The Jim Peet brand with its provenance, heritage and point of difference will be retained, adds Mr Downie. “It provides us with a differentiated offering and as we did with SC Feeds (the Staffordshire company acquired in late 2013) we'll supply it alongside our own product.” NWF will also keep the JPA organic feed range and smaller product lines.
Mr Downie says that NWF intends to invest in both the JPA production facilities through a capital expansion programme adding plant and equipment to increase capacity, improve product quality and reduce costs through more automation. It will also add offices at Longtown to support the combined northern team.
JPA managing director Simon Peet has chosen to leave the business upon completion, but will act as a consultant for the new company for a minimum of 3 days per month. Alastair Renvoize, who was JPA general manager, will report directly to Mr Downie in a business integration and day-to-day management role.
NWF Agriculture operations director Andy Jackson will assume operational responsibility for the JPA sites in addition to overseeing the NWF mills at Wardle in Cheshire and Wixland in Somerset. Stuart Turner, general manager of the NWF blends plant at Dumfries, will also assume day to day responsibility for the two JPA facilities, including overseeing the integration of production and the capital expansion programme.
The five-strong JPA sales team will report to NWF’s northern sales director Bruce Harding, while special projects manager Charlotte Salmon will lead the integration of procurement, customer service and transport functions.
“The acquisition of Jim Peet further improves our UK Feeds market share and provides a strategic manufacturing site in the north to support our development plans in Scotland and the North of England,” states Richard Whiting, chief executive of the NWF Group. “This bolt-on acquisition is in line with our stated growth strategy to expand within agriculture, and we look forward to working with its management team to develop the business further.”