The deal would align two major players in the animal feed sector: Sanders, an Avril business unit, and Axéréal Elevage, said the group.
The acquisition is subject to an information-consultation process with Axéréal Elevage's employee representatives and prior approval of the French competition authority is also required.
Jean-Philippe Puig CEO of Avril, commented on the pending deal: "This project falls fully in line with our growth strategy. It will consolidate our position in the agricultural products and services market.”
"Our relationship with Avril goes back a long way, reflected by 25 years of joint development across many markets. Today, our ambition is to enable our animal nutrition operations to benefit from a fresh impetus, essential to the development of these activities, for which it makes good sense to link up with a group that is among the leaders in the sector. By ensuring this future, this long-standing, historical division of Axéréal will be able to maintain and strengthen its regional roots, serving livestock farmers,” added Jean-François Loiseau, chair, and Paul-Yves L'Anthoen, general manager, Axéréal.
Axéréal is one of France’s foremost cereals cooperative groups, with locations in France and across the world. It specializes in growing and processing grain for the brewing, baking and livestock industries. Axéréal has 11,000 cooperative members and 4,000 employees. It generates turnover of around €4bn per year.
New soy crushing plant in Rethel
Avril also reported this week that Nealia and Sanders are investing in a new soy crushing plant located in Rethel in the northeast of France.
Work on this project is scheduled to begin at the end of 2023, with commissioning expected in the spring of 2024.
The facility would crush 25,000 tons of local and French soybeans on an annual basis. The seeds will be 100% non-GMO, and half of them will be organically grown.
The total investment in the project stands at €7m, with financial contributions also coming from FranceAgriMer.