Cornwall Farmers sells machinery unit

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Cornwall Farmers has announced the sale of its agricultural machinery business to a new company formed by two long-established local dealers.

The machinery business, which operates from three sites in Cornwall, in Penzance, Roche and Callington, is being sold to a joint venture between Robert Cole of Holsworthy and Smallridge Brothers of Barnstaple, both in Devon.

The sale, for an undisclosed sum, includes the transfer of Cornwall Farmers’ 35 machinery division staff and is expected to be completed by November 1.

Simon Birch, chief executive of Cornwall Farmers, which has annual sales in excess of £80 million and employs more than 300 staff, said: “We’re delighted to have agreed the sale of our machinery business to such reputable local dealers and it ensures continuity for members, customers and staff.

“This is part of a strategic move that will see Cornwall Farmers focus more resources on its core agricultural and retail businesses, both of which will benefit from new investment as a result of this sale.

“Cornwall Farmers exists to return value to its thousands of members across Devon and Cornwall. Since taking over as chief executive in May my focus has been and will remain on our core strengths as a co-operative.”

Cornwall Farmers says it will retain its professional grounds care and domestic garden machinery sales and service business, which fits well with its current retail operation through its 14 country stores across Devon and Cornwall.

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