Origin agrees Scottish plant sale to secure UK fertiliser deal

UK competition authorities had expressed concern about the transaction last month

Origin shares edged 0.7 per cent higher to €6.75 million on Thursday morning in Dublin, valuing the group at €847 million

Origin shares edged 0.7 per cent higher to €6.75 million on Thursday morning in Dublin, valuing the group at €847 million

 

Origin Enterprises, the Dublin-listed agri-services group, has completed the £14.2 million (€15.8 million) purchase of Bunn Fertiliser in the UK, having agreed to sell off a Scottish plant to secure competition approval for the deal.

The Irish company on July 14th said that the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) had found that the transaction, agreed in March, “could reduce competition to supply fertilisers in the central/eastern region of Scotland”.

However, Origin said on Thursday that it has completed the deal, after the CMA agreed to the company holding the Bunn site at Montrose, on the east coast of Scotland, separately with a view to ultimately selling the plant.

Origin shares edged 0.7 per cent higher to €6.75 million on Thursday morning in Dublin, valuing the group at €847 million.

Bunn’s turnover for the year ended December 31st, 2016, was £127.7 million, and Origin’s chief executive said in March that the deal, to be funded from existing banking facilities, was expected to boost group earnings in its first full year of ownership.