CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, U.S. — Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) on Jan. 17 announced it has signed an agreement to purchase the remaining 50% stake in British grain merchant Gleadell Agriculture Ltd., currently jointly owned by U.S.-based ADM and French co-operative InVivo.

The purchase includes Gleadell’s wholly owned subsidiary Dunns (Long Sutton) Ltd. ADM will merge Gleadell and Dunns with ADM Arkady, ADM’s U.K. destination marketing business, and ADM Direct U.K., ADM’s specialist combinable crop origination business to create ADM Agriculture Ltd, thus strengthening ADM’s presence across the U.K.

ADM said the transaction will increase its origination, storage and destination marketing capabilities in the U.K., allowing it to serve as the trading partner of choice for even more farmers and customers.

The transaction comes after months of speculation that ADM would buy longtime competitor Bunge Ltd. But in an interview with Reuters on Jan. 16, Juan Luciano, chief executive officer of ADM, said the company decided the time was not right for “monster” acquisitions.

Established in 1880, Gleadell Agriculture Ltd. is a supplier of combinable crops to U.K. millers, feed compounders and other consumers, and a major exporter of grains, oilseeds and pulses to E.U. markets and other destinations.

The company sources crops directly from U.K. farmers and supplies certified seed and fertilizers. Key assets include port storage and ship loading operations along with extensive pulse and agricultural seed processing and storage. 

 “With significant storage and processing capability and a longstanding reputation for being a safe and trusted trading partner, Gleadell and Dunns will be great additions to our business in the U.K.,” said Gary McGuigan, ADM’s president of Global Trade. “We are excited to expand our capabilities, not only to continue our strategic growth, but also to support our farmers and our customers as they work to address fast-growing consumer demand.” 

 The transaction, which is subject to regulatory review, is expected to close during the first quarter of 2019.