Belfast-based agri-tech company Devenish Nutrition has secured €118 million in long-term funding to enable its research, development and growth plans, made possible by a 'pioneering' investment of €40 million from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
In what is being hailed as the largest ever European Investment Bank support for agri-business in Ireland, commercial finance support will be provided by Ulster Bank and Danske Bank.
It is also the first support for the agri-business sector in the country under the Investment Plan for Europe, in which the European Commission and EIB are strategic partners.
The investment will help Devenish with its ambitious long-term growth plans. By 2021, the agri-tech group wants to increase its turnover by over £100 million to £315 million, and add over 100 jobs to its 450-strong international workforce.
"This major financial boost marks a most significant milestone for Devenish as we seek to realise our vision of becoming the world's leading provider of integrated animal, human and environmental health solutions,” said Richard Kennedy, Group CEO of Devenish.
"This funding will be invested in the business to build and grow our research & development and manufacturing capabilities as well as facilitate our mergers and acquisitions activity.”
Kennedy added that the investment shows great faith in not only the company’s future, but the “future of the Irish agri-food sector overall”.
Easing The Pressure
Andrew McDowell, Vice President of the European Investment Bank, added that agribusinesses around the world face increasing competitiveness and economic pressures, and hope that its investments can address these pressures.
"This is a landmark deal for the EIB in Ireland and in the agri-business sector. The EIB loan will strengthen innovation activities in centres of excellence across the company and enable Devenish to thrive across the world, from its base in Europe,” McDowell said.
"Development of new animal nutrition products and research into improving soil health, animal health, human health and environmental sustainability are crucial components for the success of agriculture and food production across the world.”
© 2018 Checkout – your source for the latest Irish retail news. Article by Aidan O’Sullivan. Click subscribe to sign up for the Checkout print edition.