9 August 2002

Big merger good news – Harbro

HARBRO Farm Sales and the feed and retail businesses of North Eastern Farmers, Scotlands largest farmer co-operative, are to merge, creating a new business with a £50m-plus turnover.

Negotiations were completed last weekend and the new company, Harbro Ltd, will trade from Harbros existing headquarters at Markethill, Turriff, Aberdeenshire.

Harbro in recent years has developed its feed supply business throughout Scotland and the north of England. NEF, however, has struggled, and has failed to return a profit for the past five years.

"The merger is excellent news for Scottish farmers," said a Harbro statement. With a turnover in excess of £50m, the combined businesses will be a strong force in the market place."

George Hendry, chairman of NEF, said his board considered the merger the best solution to the on-going shrinkage in the compound feed market. &#42

providing an extremely strong, locally-owned and managed feed company to service the needs of farmers in the north-east (of Scotland) and beyond," he said.

Harbro personnel will head the new company, with Peter Kenyon appointed chairman, and Graham Baxter the managing director.

Mr Hendry and fellow NEF board member Alan Taylor will join the new companys board as non-executive directors.