21 February 1997

ADAS sold to management buyout

ADAS, the UKs leading agricultural advisory service, will be sold to a management and employee buyout team, the government announced on Wednesday.

The employees bid, lead by current ADAS chief executive Phillip Needham, was the governments preferred bidder, defeating bids by former ADAS chief executive Julia Walsh and Genus.

Junior farm minister, Tim Boswell, said contracts would be exchanged within a few days, following consultation with ADAS staff, adding that the net value to the taxpayer of the accepted bid was £23.5m.

Mr Needham said the privatised ADAS, which has a turnover of £50m but is expected to make a loss of £4m in 1996/97, would continue to focus on core agricultural business and develop food, land and environment markets.

All 1400 staff jobs at the privatised ADAS, which will retain its name, are expected to be safe.n