Scotland’s largest independent grain merchant, W N Lindsay, has acquired Glencore Grain’s Scottish grain drying and storage business in a £3m deal.

The 70,000t plant at Stracathro, Brechin, Angus, specialises in the supply of malting barley to the distilling industry.

Talks began a year ago, but stalled due to a clause giving Careston Estates, the original owners of the site, the right of first refusal.

The family-owned Lindsay business handles 200,000t a year from 5000 Scottish farmers and has a long-term agreement to procure, dry and store a “significant tonnage” of malting barley at Stracathro for leading distillers Diageo.

Stracathro is in the heart of the Scottish malting barley industry midway between Linday’s existing stores at Gladsmuir, East Lothian, and Keith, Banffshire.

“The acquisition in a key strategic area for maltsters, distillers and growers completes our coverage of the main arable areas of Scotland,” said managing director, Andrew Stephen. “It will provide growers in Angus and Aberdeenshire with a strong and stable home for malting barley and remove some of the uncertainties of recent years.”

No one from Glencore was available for comment.