PARIS, FRANCE — Axereal, one of France’s leading cereal cooperative groups specializing in growing and processing cereals for the brewing, baking and livestock industries, has completed the acquisition of Cargill’s malt business on behalf of its subsidiary, Boortmalt.

The acquisition strengthens Axereal's position globally and makes Boortmalt the world's leading player in the production of malt, the company said. 

“This acquisition meets our two strategic objectives: Firstly, to invest in the downstream of barley to increase the value of our farmers production in France and internationally, and especially in growing markets. Secondly, we have a long-term vision for our cooperative farmers," said Jean-François Loiseau, president of Axereal. "This acquisition will help ensure that our trajectory is competitive. We at Axereal are leading the way for the agricultural transition with industrial innovation that provides quality food whilst respecting the environment.”

Paul-Yves L’Anthoën, chief executive officer of Axereal, added, “This acquisition is a major step in our cooperative’s strategic plan. It allows us to diversify our sources of value, and it bolsters the group’s position in a growing sector. It also strengthens our relationship with the financial community.”

With this acquisition, Boortmalt will take over all of Cargill’s malt activities, including 16 malthouses in 9 countries, nearly 600 employees and a total production capacity of 1.7 million tonnes. This brings the total capacity of Boortmalt to 3 million tonnes with 27 malting plants on 5 continents, making it the world leader in the production of malt. The Boortmalt headquarters will remain in Antwerp, Belgium, as well as the R.&D. center, making the Antwerp malthouse the biggest in the world.

“Such a takeover offers us new growth prospects and will enable us to better mitigate risks, particularly those linked to climate change,” said Yvan Schaepman, c.e.o. of Boortmalt. “It also allows us to accelerate the development of new malting barley varieties and to create new malts. With this acquisition, we are pursuing our primary ambition: to become the best Maltster in the world.”

Axereal first announced its intention to acquire Cargill's malt business in December 2018. Cargill entered the malt business in Europe in 1979 and served the brewing, food and beverage industries by originating and transforming malting barley into malt. The company’s malting operations are located in the United States, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Germany, France, Spain and The Netherlands.