Needham Chalks has been sold to Bishop's Stortford based Harlow Agricultural Merchants, who also acquired a leading analytical laboratory business from the same owners.The Needham Chalks business along with its quarries, have been sold to Harlow Agricultural Merchants (known to many as HAM) in an asset deal. HAM also acquired all the shares in Alliance Technical Laboratories Ltd (ATLL).
Both companies were previously owned by the same family group. The deal was facilitated by Peter Watson and Robert Fiske of Cambridgeshire based corporate brokers, Prism Corporate Broking.Established in 1947, Needham Chalks specialises in quarrying, processing and merchanting chalks, primarily for agricultural liming. Over the years it developed a number of quarries across East Anglia and today, is the largest producer of quarried agricultural chalks in the region and at sale had reserves of around 2.5 million tonnes. It also became well-known for selling the PK fertiliser brand Fibrophos, derived from poultry litter incinerated in “green” power plants. Needham Chalks is also one of the country’s largest producer of knapped flints for the building trade. ATLL is the leading independent contract analytical laboratory in East Anglia, specialising in chemistry and microbiology. Founded in 1980, the acquirer HAM is one of the leading and most respected independent arable merchants in the country, providing farmers with high quality advice and service in the four key areas of agrochemicals, fertilisers, grain and seeds. In their last financial year they reported a turnover of over £68m. By making these acquisitions, HAM adds additional lines to their service offering as well as a highly capable farm sales team, not to mention a considerable number of loyal customers.Both acquired businesses will continue to operate as usual with no redundancies expected. Needham Chalks Ltd was established in 1947 at its current base of Needham Market Chalk Quarry, Suffolk.