East Anglia-based Strutt & Parker (Farms) has been sold to Robigus, a private company incorporated on 1 June this year.
The business, which farms about 33,000 acres of its own, contract-farmed and tenanted land, was launched for sale in mid-September last year, with no guide price publicly issued, but the sellers were expected to be looking for about £200m.
The sale announcement states that Robigus is operated in conjunction with Belport, with finance provided by European investors. No detail has been given on the sums involved in the transaction.
Belport is described as a UK-based investment and asset management company that specialises in the acquisition, development and strategic management of farms and estates.
The Strutt & Parker (Farms) business is one of East Anglia’s oldest and best known diversified farming businesses, established more than 100 years ago.
While the core of the business has been sold to Robigus, two anaerobic digestion subsidiaries, Euston Biogas and S&P Biogas, were sold in a separate transaction to Foresight Group, an independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager.
“This is a company [Strutt & Parker (Farms)] that has been at the forefront of agriculture for more than 100 years and has evolved into a diverse farming and land-based business,” said Charles Buckley of Belport.
“The entrepreneurial vigour afforded to the business by two great families and a loyal and supportive workforce mirrors our vision for the future.”
Savills was the selling agent. Its director and head of national farm sales Alex Lawson said: “Given the political context, the interest in the portfolio and subsequent sale is recognition of the quality and provenance of this long-established company and its assets. Such a substantial transaction also represents a significant vote of confidence in UK agriculture.”
Strutt & Parker (Farms) includes about 13,000 acres of freehold land and about 20,000 acres of third-party owned farmland.
It has 121 freehold properties in prime arable farmland areas. The company diversified into commercial operations such as rural serviced office units, as well as renewable energy facilities.
The farms business is entirely separate to that of the property, farm and estate management firm Strutt & Parker.