Wheat in a grain store © Tim Scrivener© Tim Scrivener

Wessex Grain’s farmer shareholders have received the final payments due after the company was taken over in a multimillion-pound deal.

The grain trading company operated across the south and south-west of England with more than 250 farmer suppliers.

The entire share capital was acquired by agri-business Cefetra in November 2015.

The remaining 50p balance of the £5.75 share cost was paid in cash to the shareholders at the end of August.

See also: Wessex Grain receives bid from international trader Cefetra

Since the acquisition, Cefetra, which trades in excess of 3.8m tonnes of grain annually, has reported strong growth in Wessex’s export programme.

Former managing director at Wessex Grain, Simon Wilcox, said an increased number of grain vessels had been dispatched to European ports carrying malting barley, OSR, milling oats and feed barley.

“Our export programme has expanded, with additional vessels being loaded out of south coast ports, increasing our total tonnage by 20%,” Mr Wilcox said.

Big investment

Cefetra has also invested significantly, injecting a six-figure sum into the business to improve facilities at the Henstridge, Somerset store and office.

“The Wessex Grain team are now playing a key role in developing Cefetra’s business, which is expanding nationwide.

“New farm grain buyers are covering East Anglia, the North East and Scotland and further recruitment is ongoing. Cefetra provides farmer growers access to key markets within the UK and across Europe,” said Mr Wilcox.

Benefits

Cefetra managing director Andrew Mackay added that the deal had benefited all parties – shareholders, Wessex Grain and farmers across the region – by offering them a major independent business to work with to market their grain.

“We plan to build on the success of this acquisition to continue expanding both the farm grain business across the UK and our tonnage, alongside the range of operations for Wessex Grain and its farming suppliers.”

Cefetra Limited was established in 1992. In 1999 it became part of the Cefetra Group. It was taken over in 2013 by BayWa, a Munich-based agriculture, energy and construction company. BayWa’s annual turnover is now in excess of €15bn (£12.8m).