Smith & Williamson advises on Openfield acquisition

Smith & Williamson photo

Martyn Fraser


Food and agriculture sector specialists at the Bristol office of Smith & Williamson have overseen a high-profile acquisition.

The specialists acted as financial advisers to the UK’s leading farmer-owned grain marketing co-operative, Openfield, on its acquisition of Countrywide Farmers PLC’s grain business.

Openfield, which collects, stores, distributes and markets over 4.5 million tonnes of grain every year on behalf of an extensive network of farming businesses, has successfully acquired Countrywide Farmers’ grain business which is expected to handle 400,000 tonnes this year.

John Stables, Group Finance Director and Deputy Managing Director at Openfield, comments: “Given our unique position in the UK as the leading, farmer-owned co-operative focused on grain, we are delighted with the acquisition.

“The Smith & Williamson team has a deep understanding of our business that was important in helping achieve our objective of completing the transaction within a short timescale.”

Martyn Fraser, director in the corporate finance team at the Bristol office of accountancy and investment management group Smith & Williamson, said: “Our long-standing relationship with Openfield and its predecessors enabled us to provide advice on the strategic as well as financial aspects of the transaction.

“There was a natural synergy between Openfield and Countrywide Farmers as both have grown up on solid, co-operative principles.

“Countrywide was looking to dispose of its agri-businesses, including its grain services business, to concentrate on its agricultural retail stores.”