Retail group Associated British Foods (ABF) has announced the £48m acquisition of agritech and dairy information provider National Milk Records (NMR) this morning, as it eyes expanding its dairy strategy.
AB Foods said it will pay 215p in cash per share for the firm, which offers data on a number of dairy products and has a laboratory at Four Ashes, near Wolverhampton. The price 87 per cent higher than NMR’s closing share price yesterday evening.
AB Agri – a subsidiary of ABF and the businesses agri-food arm – will buy the company as it looks to strengthen its agri-food unit and dairy segment of the business.
José Nobre, Chief Executive of AB Agri, 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.”
“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.”
NMR offers milk recording, herd health services and genetic testing services amongst other operations.
Trevor Lloyd, chairman of NMR, said: “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.”
“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.”
It comes just a few months after ABF, who also own Primark, Ryvita, Jordans and Twinings, upped its profit forecasts for the year, as it weathered significant cost pressures caused by inflation, due to resilient consumer spending.
Despite the positive results as consumers flocked back to physical shopping, analysts at the time remained cautious in their outlook for the year ahead, with some arguing that ABF was “dodging most of the economic bullets being fired in its direction.”
AB Agri occupies a strong position in the international food supply chain, and has a presence in 80 countries. It currently operates over 2,000 UK dairy farms.