Simpsons Malt has acquired a Scottish grain manufacturer

The celebrated malting and merchanting business Simpsons Malt has fulfilled a long-held ambition with its acquisition of a major grain merchant based in Scotland.

Simpsons Malt, the fifth-generation family business headquartered in Berwick-upon-Tweed, has acquired the grain merchanting business of W.N. Lindsay Ltd for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition sees Simpsons Malt operate four of W.N. Lindsay Ltd’s stores in Scotland within a new subsidiary company which retains the name of W.N. Lindsay Ltd.

The four stores, which are situated at Gladsmuir in East Lothian, Stracathro in Angus, Keith in Morayshire, and Sidlaw in Perthshire, will provide more than 200,000 tonnes of extra in-house grain storage, enhancing traceability and sustainability for both the grower and end user.

Simpsons Malt were supported in the negotiation and delivery of this strategic acquisition by corporate lawyers Matthew Walsh and Sara Worsick at Muckle LLP, the North East’s leading independent law firm for businesses. Tax and financial due diligence advice was provided by David Ward and Paul Kaiser at UNW.

The acquisition follows the company’s announcement that it had entered into an agreement to acquire 40 acres of land in Rothes, Speyside, where it intends to build a state-of-the-art maltings with malting barley storage facilities, increasing its number of sites in the UK from two to three.

Andrew Lindsay, Managing Director of W.N. Lindsay Ltd, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to agree the purchase of our family business by Simpsons Malt.

“The combination of two fifth-generation family businesses with more than 300 years of history will enhance the supply chain across Scotland and I believe Simpsons Malt’s vision for the future aligns closely to that of our colleagues, suppliers and customers.”

Tim McCreath, Managing Director of Simpsons Malt, added: “W.N. Lindsay Ltd is an established, well-known family business with an excellent reputation in Scottish and UK agriculture and we are delighted to have the opportunity to acquire its grain merchanting business.

“All suppliers within the cereal supply chain are increasingly accountable to the end user and even the consumer – particularly on product traceability and sustainability – and as a pivotal buyer of malting barley and supplier of malt, we are ideally placed to play a leading role in improving supply chain management for the benefit of our growers, as well as our distilling and brewing customers.

“W.N. Lindsay Ltd’s people and infrastructure will complement our own and, together with our ongoing investment in business systems and processes, this acquisition will be a positive step for the entire cereal and malt supply chain.”

Matthew Walsh, corporate partner at law firm Muckle, added: “Muckle has acted for Simpsons Malt for many years and it was a pleasure to support Tim, Graeme [Hogg, Finance Director] and the team on this pivotal acquisition.

“The deal brings together two long-established businesses with many years’ experience in the cereals industry, giving Simpsons Malt an improved platform to meet the evolving requirements of the growing, brewing and distilling sectors.”

Legal advice to W.N. Lindsay Ltd was provided by John Caldwell of Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP with Andrew Gavan of Johnston and Carmichael advising on tax.