IPSWICH, SUFFOLK, ENGLAND —Nidera UK reached an agreement on Nov. 24 with the Liverpool-based food and agriculture company Edward Billington & Son Ltd. to acquire the grain trading division of Criddle & Co., effective Dec. 1.

Criddle & Co Ltd. is an agricultural commodity trading company supplying grains and other ingredients to both food and feed manufacturers and processors across the U.K.

Lloyd Whiteley, chairman of The Billington Group, sees the two companies as a perfect fit.

"This agreement represents a very positive development for all stakeholders,” he said. “With its growing presence throughout the arable supply chain, both nationally and internationally, Nidera is ideally placed to develop and grow this business, ensuring that it continues to go from strength to strength. Despite the change in ownership, the business will retain its status as preferred supplier of combinable crops to the compound feed business of The Billington Group.”

The deal will create value for both parties and their customers, said Mark Dordery, Nidera UK chief executive.

"We are delighted to be joining forces with the Criddle team, which is well established and highly respected throughout the local region,” Dordery said. “This agreement complements our ongoing strategy of expanding and diversifying our existing business by widening our geographic reach."

"This will allow us to serve the needs of our growing client base of producers and consumers of combinable crops,” he said. “In addition, our position as a leading supplier of seeds and fertilizers allows us to provide our farmer clients with the full range of crop inputs and associated technical advice. As we see ongoing concentration within our industry sector, this agreement enhances choice for growers and consumers in this important arable region."

The business will continue to be led by Stewart Johnson.

"This is great news for our farming clients who will have access to unrivalled market intelligence provided by Nidera's global network and will enjoy the security that a major international agribusiness provides,” Johnson said. “Our people will continue to be based at their existing offices in Liverpool and Wem, which will give both farmers and consumers the continued benefit of local service."