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Grain trader set to be bought out by major US shipping corporation

A shipment of barley being loaded at the Gleadell grain terminal in Great Yarmouth's outer harbour.  Picture: James Bass

A shipment of barley being loaded at the Gleadell grain terminal in Great Yarmouth's outer harbour. Picture: James Bass

(C) Archant Norfolk 2015

A grain trader which operates across East Anglia is set to come under the exclusive ownership of a major US trading and shipping corporation in a move which illustrates the continuing consolidation in the sector.

Gleadell Agriculture, which has an office in Swaffham and operates the grain terminal at Great Yarmouth Outer Harbour, was established in 1880 and is a leading supplier of combinable crops to UK millers and feed compounders, as well as a major exporter of grains, oilseeds and pulses.

The company is already 50pc owned by Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) – but now the US firm has signed an agreement to buy the remaining 50pc from French agricultural co-operative InVivo.

The deal, which includes Gleadell’s wholly-owned subsidiary Dunns (Long Sutton) Ltd, is subject to regulatory review and is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2019.

ADM says it will merge Gleadell and Dunns with ADM Arkady, its UK destination marketing business, and ADM Direct UK, its specialist combinable crop origination business, to create ADM Agriculture Ltd, strengthening its storage and marketing presence across the UK.

Gary McGuigan, ADM’s president of global trade, said: “With significant storage and processing capability and a long-standing reputation for being a safe and trusted trading partner, Gleadell and Dunns will be great additions to our business in the UK.

“We are excited to expand our capabilities, not only to continue our strategic growth, but also to support our farmers and our customers as they work to address fast-growing consumer demand.”

The acquisition is another indicator of consolidation in the grain marketing sector, driven by squeezed margins in the supply chain.

READ MORE: Farming co-operative Fengrain contracts its grain trading operations to major agri-business

It follows last week’s announcement that East Anglian grain co-operative Fengrain, based in Wimblington, near March, had agreed to contract its grain trading and marketing services to Frontier Agriculture, the UK’s largest agronomy and grain marketing business.

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