A longstanding Northumberland farming firm is expanding its operations after completing the acquisition of a local agriculture business and 50 hectares of arable land for a seven-figure sum.
R Brewis & Partners has been operating in the Belford area since the 1950s and currently runs a mixed livestock and arable operation on around 650 hectares of local farmland. The family-owned firm has purchased the entire issued share capital of Fordell Farms Ltd, which includes the 50 hectares of land to the west of Belford, and intends to extend its existing agricultural activities onto it.
Legal advice on the corporate aspects of the deal was provided by Ben Jackson and Mark Adams of Hay & Kilner Law Firm in Newcastle, with colleague Chris Anderson advising on the commercial property side of the acquisition.
Andrew Entwistle, Partner and Head of Valuations at George F. White, together with colleague Adeline Jones acted for the selling shareholders, along with Matthew Smith and Hannah Farmer of Andrew Jackson Solicitors LLP. After heads of terms were agreed, Andrew Entwistle introduced funding for the transaction from the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (AMC). Robbie Dalgleish, partner at Berwick-based chartered accountancy firm Greaves, West & Ayre also acted for R Brewis & Partners.
Three generations of the Brewis family have worked in the R Brewis & Partners business over the last six decades. Peter Brewis says: “The land we’ve purchased is adjacent to some of our existing fields to the west of Belford and we’ve driven past it pretty much every single day.
“The machinery we already have means we can integrate it easily into our existing operations without incurring any additional overheads and it made clear commercial sense for us to expand in this way.
“The Hay & Kilner team was well prepared for dealing with any obstacles as and when they came up and kept things moving forward as we worked towards a successful conclusion.”
Ben Jackson, solicitor in Hay & Kilner’s specialist corporate & commercial team, adds: “R Brewis & Partners is a well-established part of the Northumberland farming landscape, but still retains a clear ambition to grow and innovate wherever possible, as this acquisition demonstrates.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with the Brewis family on this project and we wish them every success with their future development of the business.”
Andrew Entwistle says: “This was a complex transaction and it was an absolute pleasure to work with the Brewis family, the shareholders of Fordell Farms, all the professionals involved, and the AMC. Throughout there was clear focus from all, particularly in respect of the legal work required.
AMC’s Regional Agriculture Manager Alick Jones adds: “As long-established providers of mortgage finance for farm acquisitions, AMC is delighted to support this expansion.
“Despite the current climate, we’re seeing an appetite from farmers in the region like R Brewis & Partners who want to secure borrowing to help them achieve growth. We can relate to the inter-generational aspects of the business, and in conjunction with our local agents, we are well placed to support long established family farms with their expansion plans.”