One of East Anglia’s oldest and best-known diversified farming businesses Strutt and Parker (Farms) Ltd has been sold after almost a year of being on the market.
The majority of the rural property company, said to be worth in the region of £200 million, was sold to Robigus Limited, an operation working in conjunction with Belport Limited.
Strutt and Parker (Farms) Ltd, which covers farmland in Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, was put on the market last September and was thought to be the biggest farming business for sale in this capacity since the Co-operative Group sold its farm business for £249m in 2014.
The company was founded in 1918 and includes about 13,000-acres of freehold land and about 20,000-acres of third party owned farmland.
Its 121 freehold properties are situated on arable farmland.
While it has not been told how much it sold for, the historic transaction to Belport Ltd, a UK-based investment and asset management company that specialises in the acquisition, development and strategic management of farms and estates, is hoped to ‘further enhance and expand on their ambition to be at the forefront of agriculture’.
Charles Buckley of Belport said the company had been at the forefront of agriculture for ‘more than 100 years’ and had evolved into a diverse farming and land-based business.
“The entrepreneurial vigour afforded to the business by two great families and a loyal and supportive workforce mirrors our vision for the future,” he said.
David Jones, corporate finance partner at Deloitte, said there was a universal agreement that ‘the time had come to pass the business to someone who would invest further in it, respect its traditions and culture, and secure its long-term success’.
Strutt and Parker (Farms) Ltd’s two anaerobic digestion subsidiaries, Euston Biogas and S&P Biogas, were also sold in a separate transaction to Foresight Group, an independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager.
Company chairman Peter Tritton said: “Strutt and Parker (Farms) Ltd has earned an excellent reputation over its 100-year history as a leading, innovative and diversified agricultural business.
“My great grandfather and founding partner Edward Strutt would approve of the opportunities that increased investment under new ownership will provide.”