GS joins F+W

Peter Fleming and Cord Schiplage (r.) are aiming for close cooperation between the two companies.
GS Agri
Peter Fleming and Cord Schiplage (r.) are aiming for close cooperation between the two companies.

The Wendeln family is relinquishing its shareholding. The new shareholder will be GS Agri. In the operative business, the new partners want to cooperate and leverage synergies. This alliance will also strengthen both companies in the compound feed segment.

The representatives of GS agri, Schneiderkrug, and Fleming+Wendeln (F+W), Garrel, have agreed on a strategic alliance. According to the two companies, the partners would like to cooperate closely in the future in the areas of production, logistics and purchasing. The aim of the alliance is to increase effectiveness through the resulting synergies and efficiency gains. The cost advantages generated in the process are to be passed on to the farmers.

Through its subsidiary GS Landhandel AG, the Schneiderkruger Genossenschaft becomes a shareholder in F+W Holding GmbH & Co. KG. To this end, GS Landhandel AG replaces the Wendeln family shareholder (Wendeln Landhandel Beteiligungs GmbH) and acquires its 50 percent share in the company. The remaining 50 percent will continue to be held by the Fleming family. Subject to approval by the antitrust authorities, the acquisition of GS is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

„Uns eint die Überzeugung, dass eine Allianz, in der jeder Beteiligte seine Stärken einsetzen kann, die Antwort auf den dynamischen Strukturwandel und sich ändernde Märkte ist. “
Alexander Fleming, F+W Holding GmbH & Co. KG.

Both companies will remain independent, the partners emphasize. They will remain on the market with their own brands and products and operate with their own sales units. The transaction does not include the stake in Böseler Goldschmaus, in which GS has already held an interest for a long time. The parties have agreed not to disclose the sale price.

"We are pleased to welcome GS as a powerful shareholder at Fleming+Wendeln. The alliance is based on mutual respect and the goal of creating a lasting win-win situation for both partners and their customers," says Peter Fleming, managing partner of F+W Holding GmbH & Co. KG. "We are united by the conviction that an alliance in which each party can leverage its strengths is the answer to dynamic structural change and changing markets. Together we will succeed in maintaining and further expanding the performance of our companies in the interest of our customers," adds Alexander Fleming, also managing partner at F+W Holding GmbH & Co. KG.
About Fleming+Wendeln

The Fleming + Wendeln group of companies, based in Garrel, was founded in 1986 as a merger of the agricultural trading companies Clemens Fleming, Nikolausdorf, and B. Wendeln jun. GmbH, Garrel. Today Fleming + Wendeln produces feed for pigs, poultry and cattle at five locations. In addition to the production and distribution of compound feed, the company trades in grain as well as other raw materials, distributes agricultural inputs (seed, fertilizer and crop protection) and operates a filling station. The company employs 280 people. In 2020, sales amounted to € 290 million.

Approval also comes from the previous shareholder family Wendeln. "In view of current and future challenges, it is logical to position ourselves accordingly. GS, with its high level of agricultural expertise, is from our point of view the ideal partner to take over our share and actively continue to shape the future of the company", emphasises Paul Wendeln on behalf of the Wendeln family of shareholders. In 1986, the Fleming and Wendeln families merged their businesses in order to improve the range of services for farmers and have since developed the company in partnership. This good cooperation is continued in other investment areas (Böseler Goldschmaus).

Pooling resources and saving costs

GS agri and F+W hope that the alliance will lead to greater competitiveness and significant economies of scale. The cooperation is intended to release new potential, especially in purchasing. By bundling purchasing, procurement costs can be sustainably reduced and the negotiating position of the companies vis-à-vis suppliers can be strengthened, the companies explain the perspectives. The resulting purchasing advantages in agricultural raw materials, operating resources (fertilizers, crop protection, seeds) as well as energy and fuels should benefit farmers.
„Durch die Beteiligung bei Fleming + Wendeln erhält unsere Wachstumsstrategie nochmals einen kräftigen Schub. “
Cord Schiplage, GS agri eG

Central units are also being sought at production and logistics level. Standardized processes, better utilization of production capacities and more efficient logistics can further optimize costs and increase the efficiency of the sites. Customers should benefit in particular from lower freight costs. Synergy effects also arise with regard to the service area of nutrient management. Both partners will contribute to farmers with their solutions for nutrient brokerage as well as for sustainable manure processing and utilization.
About GS agri

GS agri eG, based in Schneiderkrug, was founded in 1881 by farmers for farmers. With around 450 employees at 27 locations, the company is present in four counties. For its more than 2,900 members and 40,000 customers, the cooperative is an important all-round service provider in the entire nutrient and production chain and operates building material centres, petrol stations and home and garden markets. Its main line of business is the production and distribution of high-quality compound feed. The cooperative operates four compound feed plants. In 2020, the turnover was € 350 million.

In addition, the partners are also pooling their activities in the mixed feed sector and achieving significantly greater impact. Among the TopTen German compound feed producers, Fleming + Wendeln, with a production volume of 850,000 t, has so far occupied 8th place and GS Agri, with a production volume of around 660,000 t, 10th place. Together they produce around 1.5 million tonnes of compound feed, putting them in equal 4th place with For Farmers. GS Agri also contributes the organic feed segment, which grew strongly last year and is set to expand further. F+W has not been involved in this segment to date.

More power through alliances

The new cooperation is also intended to provide tailwind for investments. The aim is to further develop existing structures and open up new business models, the companies explain. "The players in the agricultural market will become fewer as a result of structural change, but larger and more powerful. In this competition, GS not only wants to maintain its place, but also to further expand its market position in the long term. To this end, we are already working successfully with (cooperative) partners and will continue this cooperation. The investment in Fleming + Wendeln will give our growth strategy another powerful boost. The alliance gives both partners room for manoeuvre for investments and the diversification of their business models. Together we increase our benefit for members and customers", Cord Schiplage, managing board member of GS agri eG and board member of GS Landhandel AG, is convinced.

With this alliance GS Agri continues its strategy of bundling know-how and increasing efficiency. GS Agri is also planning a cooperative alliance with Landwirtschaftliche Bezugsgenossenschaft eG Damme. In future, they want to cooperate in feed production, digitalisation and nutrient management in order to combine the advantages of independence with the benefits of a strategic alliance. Furthermore, the two cooperatives want to join forces in terms of consulting, technology and documentation and open up digital distribution channels.