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Germany's BayWa expands in UK with Premium Crops acquisition

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German-based BayWa expanded its presence in the UK grain market with the purchase of Premium Crops, in a move billed as creating “a formidable force in the UK’s speciality crops market”.


Cefetra - the UK grain trader bought by BayWa in 2013, and which trades more than 4m tonnes of crops a year - paid an undisclosed sum for Premium Crops, which deals in specialist crops such as linseed, canary seed, millet and naked oats.


“The combination of the two businesses will create a formidable force in the UK’s speciality crops market,” said Cefetra, which bought Premium Crops from US-based Technology Crops.


Cefetra said that the acquisition would improve its “UK-wide capabilities to purchase grains and oilseeds direct from British farmers”.


Furthermore, “by diversifying our portfolio with this acquisition, we will be able to offer an even wider range of products and services to both farmers in the UK and our customers across Europe”, Andrew Mackay, the Cefetra managing director, said.


Growing market


Indeed, Andrew Probert, managing director at Premium Crops, said that demand for specialty crops was “growing across multiple industries”.


“These premium crops represent a small yet key component of the future of a diversified and specialised arable agricultural market globally.”


For Premium Crops, based in southern England, “the backing of Cefetra… will allow us access to significantly greater resources”, besides the chance to expand offerings to farmers too, Mr Probert said.


“Cefetra will enhance our ability to identify new market opportunities, increase the availability of genetics whilst giving us a greater presence on farm."


BayWa’s shopping list


The deal comes two years after Cefetra expanded into the south west of the UK through the purchase of Wessex Grain.


Other recent purchases made by the BayWa group include Evergrain, the Hamburg-based malting barley trader acquired in 2015, and a year ago, for a reported $14m, Dutch-based Thegra Tracomex which trades niche and organic commodities in markets such as barley, oats and pulses.


Shares in BayWa, which has also expanded in Italy and Spain in recent years, besides in its core German grains markets, stood up 0.2% at E31.315 in afternoon deals in Frankfurt.


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