European feed manufacturer space: acquisitions, new builds and a Halal deal

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© istock
© istock

Related tags Feed production Meat

As autumn sneaks in, we review recent developments at some of Europe’s major feed production players. 

One of Germany’s biggest feed makers, Agravis Raiffeisen, has become the new main shareholder in another German agribusiness group, Rörig-Hartig & Co, headquartered in Wolfhagen.

Agravis​’ acquisition of 56% of that feed production, crop protection and grain processing company’s shares as of September 1, 2017 is still subject to approval by anti-trust officials.

It said the substantial stake in Rörig-Hartig was an important component in strengthening its regional presence and “asserting itself as a powerful agricultural trading organization in the markets of East Westphalia and North Hesse.”

Rörig-Hartig, it said, generates an annual turnover of around €30m. The employee shareholders own 21.5% of the company. The third shareholder in Rörig-Hartig is Raiffeisen Emsland-Süd. 

New pig and poultry feed plant in Brazil 

Leading manufacturer, De Heus​, continues its expansion in markets further afield.

August saw the official opening of its new pig and poultry feed production facility in Paraná, Brazil, which the group flagged up as brining a new paradigm regarding quality and health safety standards in pre-start feeds for piglets and poultry.   

It said it invested R$25 million (USD$7.9m) in the plant, based in Toledo, with the capital raised from equity.

"De Heus’ industrial unit in Toledo was designed with an unprecedented, high-standard production system with a capacity of up to 50,000 tons/year of piglet feed in two shifts - a volume with the potential to feed 8.5 million piglets per year – equivalent to the average production of 280,000 sows. We are already producing the new line of premium feed for piglets, Romelko, [in the plant],”​ said the CEO of De Heus, Koen De Heus.

Halal deal for Russian group

Russia’s Cherkizovo Group​, the largest feed producer in Russia, and a top three producer in Russia’s poultry, pork and processed meat markets, announced last month that it had been approved to export poultry products to Iraq from its Vasilyevskaya production facility.

The group said the Iraqi Ministry of Agriculture issued it the necessary permit.

A key requirement for the export of poultry meat to Iraq is the observance of halal - a set of rules in the Islamic religious tradition that sets strict guidelines for the slaughter of animals. 

Cherkizovo said slaughter facilities at its Vasilyevskaya poultry farm complied with these rules, according to certification from the Halal International Centre for Standardisation and Certification of the Council of Muftis of Russia. 

Danish developments 

Danish fish feed producer, BioMar​, in a financial report​ released in August, said construction of a new production line at the existing factory in Karmøy in Norway is complete, with annual capacity of 40,000 tons, is now operational.

The project also involves expansion of warehouse and other efficiency-enhancing facilities, aspects that are yet to be finalized, said the group.

Meanwhile, Danish livestock feed player, the DLG Group​, on releasing its interim report​ for the first half of 2017 on 29 August, said its farm supply division – which covers compound feed and additives as well as crops and plant cultivation - performed well in Denmark and saw increased earnings in Germany and Sweden as well.

It reported group gross revenue for the first half of 2017 at DKK 24.7bn (USD$3.95bn), while its profit before tax came in at DKK 112m.

It said its interim earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) hit DKK 604m: “This was better than in the first half of 2016 where the EBITDA of DKK 626 million was positively affected by DKK 50 million from net gains upon divestments of noncore business areas.”

The Danish group said its premix and nutrition activities – the Vilofoss Group - delivered an increase in earnings despite challenges on the Russian market. The income boost was primarily driven by the Danish and German markets, it added. However, DGL said it sees positive trends for that business in France, particularly with the opening of a new cattle targeted minerals plant in Rennes, in Brittany.

The group said it is also optimistic about its newly established partnership with Denmark’s Brødr. Ewers in China, announced in June this year. Brødr. Ewers has acquired 25% of the shares of a premix and nutrition factory in Hunan province that DLG runs in tandem with its Chinese business partner, PUAI Feed.

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