Carr’s flour mill in Kirkcaldy, which underwent a £17 million refurbishment three years ago, has been sold to Whitworth’s.
The agriculture and engineering conglomerate Carr’s Group has sold off all of its flour million business to Whitworths Holdings in a £36 million deal. The transaction is worth almost £25 million.
Carr’s £17 million investment in the state-of-the-art Kirkcaldy mill in 2013 was helped by a £829,500 freight facilities grant from the Scottish Government.
All 80 employees at the Kirkcaldy site, as well as at Carr’s other mills in Cumbria and Essex, have transferred over to Whitworths as part of the deal.
Carr’s is returning £16 million of the proceeds of the sale back to shareholders by way of a special dividend with the remaining £8.9 million to be retained to strengthen the balance sheet and fund organic growth in high value markets in agriculture and engineering.
Tim Davies, chief executive of Carr’s, said: “The sale of Carr’s Flour Mills Ltd represents an exciting stage in Carr’s strategic development.
“At a time of increasing competition and volatility in the flour market, consolidation is essential and inevitable.
“This acquisition by Whitworths presents a great opportunity for the Food division to continue building on the strong foundations laid over many years.”
Martin George, chairman of Whitworths Holdings, added: “Carr’s Flour Mills Ltd shares a similar history to Whitworths in that it is a long standing business which has received material investment in recent years.
“The business is a great fit geographically and will give us access to the South East, North of England and Scottish markets that would otherwise not be available and means we have national reach.”