Countrywide Farmers is to acquire the trading business of Cornwall Farmers in a deal worth £6 million.
Under the terms of the deal, which is expected to complete early next month, Countrywide will take on the operation of all 12 Cornwall Farmers country stores in Cornwall and Devon.
Cornwall Farmers Ltd will retain the freehold property, with Countrywide entering into long lease agreements as tenant.
Commenting on the deal, Countrywide Farmers chief executive, John Hardman, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to bring together these two highly respected brands to create a stronger offering to our customers.
“Cornwall Farmers has a long and proud history with experienced, knowledgeable staff. We look forward to welcoming them and the store network in Cornwall and Devon to the Countrywide family.”
Simon Birch, chief executive of Cornwall Farmers, added: “This deal is good news for our customers in the south west.
“It combines our local knowledge and expertise with Countrywide’s national buying power and multiple sales channels, which include online and click and collect services. Importantly, it ensures continuity of service for the rural communities Cornwall Farmers has served in Cornwall and Devon for many years, with access to the same network of stores, staffed by the same people.
“In agreeing a sale we wanted to find a partner who would continue to serve our rural communities across Cornwall and Devon and provide greater customer choice. The deal with Countrywide does all these things and allows Cornwall Farmers to retain a strong property asset base with recurring income from a secure long-term tenant.”
The 12 Cornwall Farmers stores will take the Countrywide store portfolio to 66, creating the largest store group of its kind in the UK. The enlarged portfolio will increase further with Countrywide scheduled to launch new stores in Shrewsbury, Salisbury and Swansea in September and October.
Countrywide intends to retain the Cornwall Farmers name in Cornwall and Devon and quickly introduce retail innovations to the Cornwall Farmers store network.