Competition watchdog gives green light to latest feed firm acquisition

Iain Gardner, chief operating officer of ForFarmers, and Yoram Knoop, chief executive of ForFarmers,

Iain Gardner, chief operating officer of ForFarmers, and Yoram Knoop, chief executive of ForFarmers, at the re-branding of the BOCM Pauls name to ForFarmers at an event at the Farmers' Club in London on Monday, October 6, 2014 - Credit: Archant

The UK competition watchdog has given the thumbs up to a £15million animal feed firm acquisition.

Dutch firm ForFarmers announced in December that it was purchasing Countrywide Farmers Feed and Forage.

The firm, which is the European market leader in its sector and has its UK base in Ipswich after buying up and rebranding feed firm BOCM Pauls, struck the deal as it continues its rapid UK expansion.

The UK Competition and Markets Authority has now approved the acquisition, which will be completed on May 1.

ForFarmers, which is based in Lochem, has been developing a ‘total feed’ concept as it expands across Europe.

On completion, ForFarmers will acquire the compound feed, blends, co-products, straights and forage businesses from Countrywide.

The deal also includes a long term agreement for the supply of feed and forage products Countrywide sells in its Country Stores. The business to be acquired has a turnover of £113m and amounts to around 400,000 tonnes. ForFarmers is currently the main manufacturer to Countrywide of compound feed.

Most Read

Earlier in 2014, ForFarmers acquired HST Feeds, based in Crewe, Cheshire, in a deal valuing the business at around £11.9m, and Wheyfeed, which is based at Stanton-on-the-Wolds, near Nottingham, and has a workforce of 82, for about £3.9m.

Around 60 staff in the Countrywide businesses that were sold are set to transfer to ForFarmers.

Iain Gardner, chief operating officer at ForFarmers UK, said: “This acquisition is entirely consistent with The Total Feed Business approach, the objective of which is to supply livestock nutrition in whatever form our customers require it.

“In addition to the feed business, the acquisition of Countrywide’s forage activities will ensure ForFarmers has a significant presence in this important sector of the market. I would like to welcome the nearly 60 employees that will be joining ForFarmers in the UK on completion.”

ForFarmers makes around 8.9 million tonnes of livestock feeds a year. In addition to animal feeds for the cattle, pig-farming, poultry and equine sectors, it supplies trade goods for the arable and grassland farming sectors. ForFarmers also offers its clients additional expertise and advice in the fields of nutrition, livestock farming and business development.

ForFarmers says its goal is to be a trend-setter on the sustainable business front through the efficient production of livestock feeds and by devising products and concepts that ensure a healthier and better quality of life for animals.

It has its own innovation centre, which co-operates closely with leading research institutes and universities.

In 2014, ForFarmers recorded sales of £1.6billion. The company has a workforce of more than 2,300 employees and production facilities in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the UK.