PARIS, FRANCE — Axereal, France's largest grain cooperative, on Nov. 4 announced the acquisition of Cargill’s malt business on behalf of its subsidiary, Boortmalt.

Axereal said the acquisition strengthens its position globally and makes Boortmalt the world's leading player in the production of malt.

Jean-François Loiseau, president of the Axereal Group, said, “This acquisition meets our two strategic objectives: Firstly, to invest in the downstream of barley to increase the value of our farmers production in France and internationally, and especially in growing markets. Secondly, we have a long-term vision for our cooperative farmers.  This acquisition will help ensure that our trajectory is competitive. We at Axereal are leading the way for the agricultural transition with industrial innovation that provides quality food whilst respecting the environment.”

Paul-Yves L’Anthoën, chief executive officer of the Axereal Group, said, “This acquisition is a major step in our cooperative’s strategic plan. It allows us to diversify our sources of value, and it bolsters the group’s position in a growing sector. It also strengthens our relationship with the financial community.”

With this acquisition, Boortmalt will take over all of Cargill’s malt activities, which includes: 16 malthouses in 9 countries, nearly 600 employees, and a total production capacity of 1.7 million tonnes. 

This will bring the total capacity of the Boortmalt Group to 3 million tonnes with 27 malting plants on 5 continents making it the world leader in the production of malt.  The Boortmalt headquarters will remain in Antwerp, Belgium, as well as the R.&D. center, making the Antwerp malthouse the biggest in the world.

“Such a takeover offers us new growth prospects and will enable us to better mitigate risks, particularly those linked to climate change,” said Yvan Schaepman, CEO of Boortmalt. “It also allows us to accelerate the development of new malting barley varieties and to create new malts. With this acquisition, we are pursuing our primary ambition: to become the best Maltster in the world.”