17 May 2002

Takeover sees JSR Genetics top

JSR Genetics has propelled itself into first place as the UKs leader in pig breeding by taking over the Cotswold Pig Development Company for an undisclosed sum.

The newly formed company is the result of a year-long negotiation between JSR Newsham and Cotswolds European breeding arm and is the latest empire-building move by JSR, which merged with rival Newsham Hybrid Pigs in November 2000.

The companys gaze is now likely to fix outside the UK if it is to remain a major player in the pig breeding market, says Tim Rymer, the company chairman. "We realised that, like poultry, there will be fewer global players. First we have to be competitive in the UK, but there is a bigger market in Europe and developing countries. The UK has 500,000 sows, but there are 13m in Europe."

Although there will be job cuts and restructuring, the companys executives are confident that a better service will follow.

"We will still have a nationwide sales force, but they will offer a bigger portfolio of breeding products," says Mr Rymer.

Ian Brisby, JSR Genetics chief executive, adds that some nucleus units will close. "We have five nucleus herds, but this will reduce to three by the end of August. Formerly, Cotswold had 2500 sows, but we will go forward with 1200."

One casualty of the restructure is former Cotswold managing director Reg Joseph, although he will continue to work for the new firm as a self-employed consultant.

Mr Joseph says that future breeding policy will focus on producing heavier pigs. &#42