UK/USA: Canada's Biggest Grain Merchant Buys Britain’s Largest Independent Malting Company

The consolidation in the global malt industry continues to progress. After it was announced earlier this week that Malteries Soufflet /InVivo, the second-largest malt group in the world, is acquiring United Malt Holdings, the fourth-largest malt group, thereby becoming the global market leader with an annual malt production of approximately 3.6 million tons (, 3.7.2023), today the next acquisition of an international malt group was announced.

Ragleth Limited, the parent organization of Anglia Maltings (Holdings) Limited (AMH) which runs Britain’s largest independent malting company Crisp Malting has been sold to Richardson Malting (UK) Limited, a subsidiary of Richardson International Limited.

AMH, consisting of Crisp Malt, EDME, and Micronized Food Products, operates a total of seven malt facilities across the UK, Poland, and Germany. With a combined annual malting capacity of 440,000 metric tons, AMH secures a position among the top ten maltsters globally.

Richardson International is a privately held Canadian agricultural and food industry company and Canada's biggest grain merchant headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Following a string of notable investment initiatives, Richardson International's most recent announcement highlights their continued commitment to growth. In 2021, the company made significant capital investments in oilseed and milling processing facilities across North America and Europe, solidifying their presence in these regions. Additionally, Richardson International acquired Italgrani USA, the largest durum miller in North America and a key supplier of semolina flours to international pasta markets.

In an interview, Richardson's Chief Executive Curt Vossen revealed that the company had been interested in entering the malting industry for 20 years but had not found the right opportunity until now. With Richardson's expansion into food processing alongside its agricultural activities, malting aligns naturally with their overall strategy. Vossen stated that malting serves a fundamental purpose and is a perfect fit for the company. Richardson's approach involves processing the crops they procure from farmers, such as canola crushing, canola oil bottling, and milling durum and oats. Vossen acknowledged that it will take time to fully understand the intricacies of malting before making any decisions regarding potential business expansion.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Anglia Maltings, established in 1870 in Great Ryburgh, Norfolk, England, was acquired in 2005 by Ragleth, a company formed by David Thompson, a retired chairman and a fifth-generation family member of UK brewer Marston, along with his business associate Edward Whitley.

At the time of the acquisition, Anglia Maltings Holdings (AMH) consisted of EDME, a food ingredient business based in Essex, and the Crisp Malting Group, which operated four sites: Great Ryburgh in Norfolk (the largest), Ditchingham in Suffolk, and Portgordon and Allo in Scotland. Subsequently, a fifth site, Mistley in Essex, was added to the portfolio.

In 2014, AMH expanded its operations by acquiring Micronized Food Products, based in North Yorkshire, which specializes in producing cooked cereals for brewing as well as pet and animal food. In 2016, the company further expanded with the addition of Tivoli Malz, operating a malting facility with a capacity of 110,000 tons in Hamburg, Germany, and Globalmalt Polska, which operates a malting plant with a capacity of 75,000 tons in Bydgoszcz, Poland.

After a battle with cancer, David Thompson, the driving force behind Anglia Maltings, sadly passed away in July 2021 at the age of 67. His untimely death marked a significant turning point, leading to the subsequent sale of the company.

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