The takeover yesterday of BOCM Pauls, the UK’s largest animal feed manufacturer by Dutch-based ForFarmers Group, will create the largest compound feed business in Europe with an annual output of almost nine million tonnes.
The deal sees the ForFarmers Group acquire BOCM Pauls through the acquisition of all of the shares of Agricola Group.
The price paid by ForFarmers Group was based on an enterprise value of €85 million after an adjustment for pension fund deficit plus a deferred consideration from surplus property.
However, the deal will not be finalised until the ForFarmers Group has gained shareholder approval. Because of its dominance in the market, the takeover will also be subject to clearance by EU competition authorities.
BOCM Pauls has been the UK’s leading feed manufacturer, with recent annual sales in excess of two million tonnes of compounds, blends and co-products. The company was formed in 1992 following the merger of BOCM Silcock and Pauls Agriculture.
The company is an independent, privately owned business controlled by the management team. Headquartered in Ipswich, BOCM Pauls currently employs 1,000 staff across 18 locations. The company has two blending plants in Scotland, one at Turriff and the other at Brydekirk in Dumfries. It also operates out of an office in Motherwell.
The ForFarmers Group has been on the acquisition trail in Europe having recently acquired the Hendrix compound feed business from Nutreco. The combined companies currently sell some 6.5 million tonnes of compound feeds and other feed materials mainly in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
BOCM Pauls chief executive Bill Mayne said: “The [deal] will create a new group which will be the clear market leader in Europe with feed sales of around 8.8 million tonnes.”
l Continued investment in new buildings by Scottish pig producers resulting in improved performance was welcomed by chairman Sandy Howie, at the annual meeting yesterday at Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire, of pig marketing co-op, Scottish Pig Producers.
Howie – who is himself investing in a new unit on his farm at Mintlaw – said producers were taking advantage of grants under the Scotland Rural Development Programme to invest in new slurry stores to comply with nitrate vulnerable zone (NVZ) regulations and many new buildings were at various stages of completion.
“It is a great encouragement to see so much investment going on in the pig sector which has been helped by government support but is also down to producers having more confidence in the marketplace,” he said.
Throughput of the group last year soared by 16.4 per cent to a record £53 million. Pig sales increased by 12.7 per cent with weekly average sale numbers up by 1,000 head a week.
The group is now marketing more than 3,000 pigs a week for members in Northern Ireland – a staggering increase of 117 per cent in only two years.
The co-op, which aims to operate on a break-even basis, achieved a surplus for the year of £11,760 compared with £4,176 the previous year.
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