The Co-Operative Group announces multi-million pound Farms business deal

The Co-Operative Group are continuing with plans to focus on its core retail and consumer services after selling its Farms business to the Wellcome Trust.

Farms was sold for £249m with any further proceeds being pumped into reducing The Co-Operatives debts and developing the core business. The group wants to pay more attention to its  food, funeralcare, general insurance and legal services.

The Wellcome Trust has now gained The Co-operative’s existing farming operations, which include 39,533 acres of freehold and third party owned land, 15 farms including 3 pack houses, over 100 residential properties and 27 commercial proper tie.

The Wellcome Trust is the world’s second highest-spending charitable foundation, dedicated to driving improvements in human and animal health, who’s work is supported by the Trust’s £16.5 billion endowment, which has increased by 153% over the past ten years.

Richard Pennycook, interim group chief executive of The Co-operative Group, said:

“The successful sale of our Farms business is another important development for The Co-operative Group.

“The sale proceeds will enable us to further reduce our debt and progress with the delivery of the clear strategic plans we have in place for our core retail and consumer services’ divisions.

“In the Wellcome Trust we have a buyer whose values are closely aligned to those of The Co-operative. They have a proven track record in managing a sustainable investment portfolio, the proceeds of which are used to fund improvements in biomedical science and learning.

“The Wellcome Trust has acquired an excellent farming business characterised by the quality and professionalism of colleagues and high levels of customer service.

“I expect the farming business to continue to thrive under their committed long-term ownership.”

Danny Truell, chief investment officer of the Wellcome Trust, said:

“The Wellcome Trust has a strong track record as a long-term investor which values responsible stewardship over quick profits, with extensive and successful interests in UK property and farmland.

“We believe that we are ideally placed to develop and grow The Co-operative Group’s farms and farm business while providing continuity, and are delighted to have acquired them in what will be one of the largest global deals of its kind.

“The Trust’s philosophy is to provide long-term investment for the businesses and property we hold in good times and in bad.

“We will take this approach to running Farmcare Trading Ltd as a going concern, giving a business that is already strong and successful the support and resources it needs to grow, to the benefit of employees, tenants, partners and local communities.

“Over the last 20 years, we have become one of the largest landlords in the UK as part of owning a globally diversified portfolio. We seek to be one of the most responsible.”

Source: Bdaily

Image source: Guardian

You might also like More from author

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Username field is empty.