Wynnstay acquires Humphrey Feeds

11th March 2022 | Animal Feed, Company News, Poultry

The Wynnstay Group has agreed terms to acquire Hampshire-based Humphrey Feeds & Pullets in a move that both increases its share of the poultry feed market and grows its trading area. It also intends to invest to bring Humphrey’s mothballed Wiltshire feed mill back into production.

The £9.5 million deal includes both the poultry feed manufacturer and distributor Humphrey Feeds and the associated point-of-lay pullets business, Humphrey Pullets. The existing Humphrey management team will stay with the business and continue to trade as the Humphrey brand under its new owner.

Wynnstay says the acquisitions are a major step forward in its plans to expand into the south of England, grow its market share in free-range and organic poultry feed and increase its feed manufacturing capacity. The move will increase its share of the growing free-range poultry feed market from around 6% to 11%, while adding significant management expertise and farm and supply chain relationships.

Family-owned Humphrey Feeds & Pullets was first established in 1932. Its feed mill at Twyford in Hampshire made 109,000 tonnes of poultry feed in 2021, supplying a customer base of around 200 poultry feed farmers – mostly in the south and southwest, but also in the midlands and Wales. It also has a second mill in Calne, Wiltshire, which is not currently in use, but which secured planning permission for a refurbishment in 2020.

Pullet-rearing accounts for some 7% of Humphrey’s poultry feed sales, with 1.1m pullets expected to be reared and sold at the egg-laying stage of 16 weeks this year.
Wynnstay intends to invest in redeveloping Humphrey’s closed Porte Marsh mill at Calne – previously owned by Dukes & Botley, Mole Valley Farmers and ABN – to create a modern, 185,000 tonne capacity plant to make poultry and ruminant feeds, including organic lines. Once complete, it will help the company develop multi-species feed sales in the region, while allowing production to be moved between Calne and the existing Wynnstay feed mills at Llansantffraid and Carmarthen to support local sales growth and logistical efficiencies.

“This is an excellent acquisition for the Group,” says Wynnstay chief executive Gareth Davies. “Humphrey is a long-established, family-owned business, with an 85-year history, which prides itself on ‘advancing poultry performance’. It makes a highly complementary addition to the Group, which will be readily integrated, and is expected to be immediately earnings enhancing.

“Humphrey fulfils multiple acquisition criteria for us. It will significantly extend our trading footprint in the south of England, enlarge our market share of poultry feed, a key target sector for us, increase our feed manufacturing capacity, and bring additional farmer customers.

“Looking further out, with the redevelopment of the Calne manufacturing facility into a ruminant as well as poultry mill, there is scope to drive additional significant long-term trading benefits,” Mr Davies concludes.