Two UK grain businesses are being sold to international trading companies.
The grain trading division of Criddle & Company is being bought by Suffolk-based Nidera UK, in turn owned by global commodity group Nidera.
Criddle, with bases in Liverpool and Wem, Shropshire, was established 150 years ago and is part of food and agriculture group Edward Billington & Son.
The agreement would offer opportunities for arable producers in the north and west England, said Nidera UK chief executive Mark Dordery, with Nidera expanding its range of crop inputs and technical advice alongside its regional and international grain and commodity trading and shipping business.
Nidera UK runs the Ipswich Grain Terminal, handling more than one-third of the UK’s total annual wheat exports. The company also has storage and processing facilities in York, owns seed business Grainseed and supplies seed and fertiliser.
Worldwide, Nidera operates in 22 countries and employs almost 4,000 people, supplying cereals, oilseeds and protein to the food, feed and bioenergy industries.
Criddle & Co trades in more than 80 products, supplying feed and food markets.
Members of grain marketing and storage co-op Wessex Grain voted recently to sell their group to another international operator, Cefetra, part of the Munich-based BayWa Group.
The purchase of the Somerset-based co-op took effect on 24 November 2015. Wessex Grain operates in south and south-west England and was founded in 1980. It is a significant operator, trading about 450,000t of grain a year.
“The acquisition of Wessex Grain is another step in our strategy to expand in international markets, where BayWa Group is already active,” said Klaus Josef Lutz, chief executive officer of BayWa AG.
Cefetra Group trades more than 3.5m tonnes of grains in the UK a year, including exports to Benelux, Spain and Ireland and has worked with Wessex Grain for several years.
The co-op has a strong network of domestic customers including animal feed compounders, flour and oat millers, maltsters and oilseed crushers.
BayWa operates worldwide in trading, logistics and services in agriculture, energy and building materials, with farming and food generating the majority of its revenue.