Irish agri-group snaps up pioneering Swindon tech business for £16m

March 10, 2017

A Swindon-based firm supplying digital and tech services to farmers has been acquired by major Irish agri-services group Origin in deal worth up to £16.2m.

Dorcan-based Resterra owns a number of businesses involved in soil testing, project and data management, software and technical advice to major farms across the UK and Southern Africa.

Its operates under three brands – Courtyard Agriculture, Ag Space and IPF (Intelligent Precision Farming) – all based in Murdoch Road. Last year Resterra made £800,000 profit on sales of £2.6m.

The businesses specialise in agri-tech services to producers, manufacturers and agri-service companies which improve performance and maximise crop production on farms and production sites.

The group employs 25 people and services customers in the UK and Southern Africa along with developing partnerships in Ukraine and China.

New owner Origin said Resterra combined a “deep understanding of the digital channel for today’s primary producer with a leading expertise in agri-based software applications development, deployment, data capture and analytics”.

The deal reflects the increasing tech nature of farming to maximise production through areas such as soil analysis and use of big data.

Dublin-based Origin said the acquisition of Resterra provided it with important enhancement to its growing digital technology capabilities, particularly its data-driven crop management package,

Under the terms of the deal, Origin has acquired 100% of Resterra, on a debt-free and cash-free basis. The initial cash consideration is for £11.4m with additional deferred payments up to £4.8m based on the business hitting specific profit targets.

Origin CEO Tom O’Mahony said: “Resterra is an excellent strategic fit for Origin, adding complementary expertise and strong brand reputation.

“Digital technologies have the potential to support the delivery of dynamic and highly customised crop management strategies to optimise gross margin at farm level. These developments are radically transforming how agronomists interact with farmers. Resterra will enhance Origin’s service capability in existing and wider geographies.

Resterra co-founder and managing director Ben Gillingham said: “Origin have a heritage of innovation and technical excellence, and their digital strategy once again shows market leadership.

“Agriculture is changing fast, and the combination of our technology with Origin’s agronomic expertise opens the opportunity to deliver powerful tools to support on-farm decision making.

“We are delighted to partner with Origin and we look forward to an exciting journey together.”

Resterra directors Ben Gillingham, Vince Gillingham and Mike Geeves and their staff will remain with the business under Origin’s ownership.

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