200 year old Norfolk agricultural firm Bunn Fertiliser bought by Irish group

Bunn Fertiliser Limited Great Yarmouth Terminal Commemorate 200 years of manufacturing. Picture: Ja

Bunn Fertiliser Limited Great Yarmouth Terminal Commemorate 200 years of manufacturing. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press � 2016

A fertiliser manufacturer – which has traded in the region for more than two centuries – has been bought by an agri-services group.

Norwich-headquartered Bunn Fertiliser, which has a factory in Great Yarmouth, is one of the largest providers of fertiliser blend and nutrition management in the UK and has been bought by Origin Enterprises for £14.2m, on a debt free basis.

Bunn's turnover for the year ended December 31 2016 was £127.7m and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) is circa £2.8m.

Origin said the deal extends its fertiliser capabilities and customer service as well as allowing it to create operational and logistical efficiencies.

Tom O'Mahony, chief executive of Origin, said: 'Bunn is an excellent business with a dedicated commitment to addressing the crop yield, quality and soil fertility requirements of primary producers.

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'Bunn advances the group's capacity to manage supply chain complexity as well as providing complementary customer and product channel access.

'We are looking forward to welcoming everyone associated with Bunn Fertiliser to Origin Enterprises.'

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Completion of the transaction is subject to a number of conditions including obtaining clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority.

Origin said the acquisition was being funded from existing bank facilities and is expected to enhance earnings in the first full year of ownership.

EDP/EADT Top100 firm Bunn has been owned by Koch Fertilizer, a subsidiary of American group Koch Industries, since 2011.

Last year it marked its 200th birthday with a visit by the Princess Royal to its South Denes Road plant in September.

The business had closed four of its nine fertiliser in May 2016 after a review of the business – leading to £5m restructuring costs.

According to accounts published on Companies House, Bunn suffered losses of $23.3m in 2015 and $17.4m the year before.

The firm develops prescription fertiliser blends and nutrition management systems servicing the arable, grassland and horticultural sectors. The business markets a range of technically based nutrition applications and has an established business-to-business and retail customer franchise.

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