A MERGER that was to create the biggest farmer-controlled business in the UK is now off the cards.
SCATS and Countrywide Farmers (CWF) have withdrawn full merger plans, as directors believe it would have incurred costs and tax charges that outweighed the benefits.
A joint statement issued by the two chairmen, John Bush of CWF and Andrew Christie-Miller of SCATS says: “Going through with the merger would have a consequent diminution of shareholder value. Retail purchasing and distribution benefits can be achieved more cost effectively through collaboration.”
Merger discussions were first announced in April, and since then assets have been transferred between the two businesses. SCATS have acquired CWFs grain business and CWF have bought SCATs compound feeds business.
The retail divisions of both organisations operate 60 country stores. It has been agreed that they will work together to secure mutual economic benefits in purchasing and distribution.