Purchase of farmcare
When the Wellcome Trust acquired the Co-operative Group’s farm business for £249 million in 2014, it was the biggest global deal of its kind.
The amount of land involved – 16,000 hectares, or 62 square miles (the equivalent of the area of Liechtenstein) – also made this a particularly unique deal. The land was spread across the UK and incorporated a diverse range of agricultural businesses.
Agricultural land has become one of the most sought-after investment asset classes in recent years, and it was the diversity of the businesses involved in the deal that was so attractive to the Wellcome Trust. There were some unique opportunities to create added value across the agricultural supply chain by developing the existing scale and range of production, which includes apples, oilseeds, soft fruit and cereals.
The long-term investment vision and confidence shown by the Wellcome Trust in this deal has inspired other significant investors to consider agricultural investments seriously. Many now recognise how total rural returns have been regularly outpacing commercial property and they are actively seeking this type of opportunity.
James Brooke, Partner
UK’s biggest ever agri-investment deal.
The number of beehives acquired as part of the deal.