Grainfarmers buys Dalgety's UK grain marketing business

by Emily Buckley
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SOUTHAMPTON, HAMPSHIRE, U.K. — Grainfarmers PLC has reached an agreement to buy the U.K. grain marketing arm of Dalgety Arable Ltd., in a deal that will make Grain-farmers the largest grain marketing business in the UK.

Dalgety entered into an agreement with Grainfarmers whereby Dalgety’s field force of 120 arable specialists will act for Grainfarmers, thus ensuring continuity of grain marketing for Dalgety’s farmer customers. Grainfarmers will achieve national coverage of all of the U.K.’s main arable areas, reinforcing its position as the U.K.’s biggest farmer-owned and controlled arable business.

The enlarged business is expected to have a turnover of £300 million (approximately U.S.$460 million), handling four million tonnes of ex-farm grain, giving it an estimated 20% share of the U.K. grain market. It will employ 190 staff and will enjoy significant economies of scale following savings in duplicated costs of £1 million (U.S.$1.57 million) a year.

Grainfarmers managing director Tim Pollock said that, strategically, the two companies are a very good geographic fit, having relatively little farmer customer overlap. Andrew Barnard, responsible for Dalgety’s grain business, will transfer and join the Grainfarmers board as operations director.