Associated British Foods to acquire dairy tech firm in £48m deal

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

ABF has agreed to purchase National Milk Records for £48m
ABF has agreed to purchase National Milk Records for £48m

Related tags Dairy

Associated British Foods has agreed to purchase dairy tech firm National Milk Records (NMR) in a deal worth £48m.

The Kingsmill and Twinings owner is to pay 215p per share for the Chippenham-based business, an 87% premium to NMR’s closing share price on Monday (5 June).

ABF said the deal would significantly boost AB Agri, its agriculture food business, whole improving farmers’ profits and accelerating NMR’s strategic objectives.

Backing for the offer has been received by 69% of investors who hold around 69% of all shares – just below the 75% threshold required to sanction the deal.

Commenting on today's announcement, AB Agri chief executive José Nobre said: “I am delighted to be announcing AB Agri's intention to acquire NMR. NMR is a high-quality business which is extremely complementary and additive to our dairy strategy and offering to the dairy industry. 

Supporting farmers

“We have supported dairy farmers for more than 30 years with nutrition and specialty feed products and more recently with data and technology platforms which deliver insights that create continuous improvement in agricultural supply chains.

“Acquiring NMR is an extension of this strategy and will enable us to service the industry better, offering products that deliver increased value, efficiency and ultimately profitability for dairy farmers. NMR has assembled a strong team and we are excited by the prospect of working together with them to accelerate the development of the business.”

NMR is a provider of agri-tech to the UK dairy supply chain, developing technology used to inform farming efficiency, animal welfare and quality food provenance. It collects milk samples from a majority of farms in the UK, positioning it as a ‘respected and present voice’ across the industry.

NMR chairman Trevor Lloyd added: “ABF's and AB Agri's status within the UK agricultural sector and expertise in the dairy industry will provide a significant benefit to NMR's customers.

Drive to carbon neutrality

“As the UK dairy supply chain continues its drive to carbon neutrality, NMR's work with GenoCells and milk data, and our pivotal role in payment testing, will contribute important information to aid in this transition.

“The backing of ABF will accelerate and de-risk NMR's ability to deliver its strategic objectives, streamlining industry processes by creating a holistic business that can provide end-to-end data and analysis to ensure the long-term sustainability, efficiency and profitability of UK dairy.”

Commenting on ABF’s intentions in relation to NMR employee’s, NMR directors believed the deal would enhance future employment opportunities within the enlarged ABF Group. They also welcomed ABF’s statements that it had no current plans to make any changes to NMR’s places of business or conditions of employment.

However, ABF was uncertain as to the full impact the takeover would have on employment and employees of the enlarged group, but expected any reduction in headcount would be the result of overlapping functions – principally in corporate and support.

Meanwhile, two acquisitions within the UK food and drink manufacturing industry have been announced, Good Food Wines and John Bull Wholesale.

Related topics Dairy Operations

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