OPICO, the Bourne, Lincolnshire-based farm equipment importer and distributor, has acquired Stocks Ag, the UK specialist manufacturer of seed and granule applicators alongside wheels for agricultural machinery.

Stocks Ag was established in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire in 1997, since when it has built a reputation around the world for technical innovation and quality. OPICO, starting in the 1960s as the UK arm of an US business, was acquired in 2007 by current managing director James Woolway. It is now claimed to be the UK’s largest independent agricultural machinery importer.

Mr Woolway says his ambition has always been to get involved in the manufacture of British agricultural machinery. He intends to run Stocks Ag and OPICO as two separate companies, with different products, sales teams and their own distribution channels. However, there will be clear benefits for both brands through economies of scale.

“Stocks Ag is a well-known and respected UK brand and this acquisition provides more security for both businesses,” comments Mr Woolway. “OPICO gains from having a sister company in a different market area, with a manufacturing facility and export markets. Stocks Ag gains from the size and structure of its sister company, as well as access to in-house IT, marketing and financial systems.”