21 January 2000

German grass coup

DUTCH-BASED farm machinery group Netagco is strengthening its interests in grass and forage machinery with the acquisition of German manufacturer Fella.

Based at Feucht near Nuremburg, Fella makes disc and drum mowers, rotary rakes and tedders. The company employs 140 and earns sales revenues of around DM72m.

Fella products are handled in the UK by Rustons Engineering (RECO), Huntingdon, Cambs.

"The acquisition by Netagco came as something of a surprise as Fella has always been a well-managed and financially sound company. There must have been other reasons for the sale," says managing director Richard Ruston.

"As for their position in the UK, my understanding is that there are no immediate plans for changes to the products or marketing arrangements."

The German company joins Netagco groups Roughage Division alongside two Dutch firms – Schrijver-Agro and Trioliet-Mullos – both of which make silage handling and feeding equipment. Trioliet tub-type diet mixers are sold in Britain by Redrock Engineering.

Netagco says that Fella and Trioliet will continue to operate independently under their own brand names because their product lines are complementary. But it does add the potential for co-operation in particular markets will be examined.

With a combined annual turnover of DM110m, Netagco claims the Fella acquisition puts its roughage division among the four biggest suppliers of grass and forage equipment in Europe.