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Global AgInvesting reports:

Belfast-based agtech company Devenish Nutrition has secured 118 million (US$136.7 million) in long-term funding, enabled by a landmark commitment of 40 million (US$46.4 million) from the European Investment Bank (EIB). Other investors in the funding include Ulster Bank and Danske Bank.

This investment on the part of the EIB is the largest ever made by the bank in Ireland's agtech sector, and is also the first investment in Ireland's agribusiness industry under the Investment Plan for Europe - a plan established through a strategic partnership between the EIB and the European Commission (EC).

Founded in 1952 in Belfast, Ireland, Devenish Nutrition has grown to a leadership position in animal nutrition, human health, and environmental sustainability. Combining science, technology, and innovation, the company supports food production systems that improve performance and create value in the ag supply chain. With manufacturing locations in the UK, U.S., Turkey, and Uganda, and offices on UAE, Mexico, Uganda, the Philippines, India, and the Dominican Republic, Devenish is active in more than 30 global markets, delivering sustainable and innovative nutrition solutions and products.

This fresh funding will allow the company to establish a new global innovation center in Dowth, County Meath, Ireland, and will provide the needed support to fund innovative related capital projects and research in optimized animal nutrition, food, health, and sustainability.

"Agribusiness around the world faces increasing competitiveness as well as economic and political pressures," said Andrew McDowell, vice president of EIB. "Devenish has been involved in animal nutrition for more than 60 years and their continuous investment in research and development of new products is crucial in addressing these pressures."

Long-term, the company has its sights set on lofty goals, aiming to increase its turnover by 100 million (US$128.8 million) to approximately 315 million (US$405.7 million) by 2021, while increasing its international team by 100 to total 550 strong.

"This major financial boost marks a most significant milestone for Devenish as we seek to realise our vision of becoming the world's leading provider of integrated animal, human and environmental health solutions," said Richard Kennedy, CEO of Devenish.

"This funding will be invested in the business to build and grow our research & development and manufacturing capabilities as well as facilitate our mergers and acquisitions activity."

The funding in support of Devenish will also support Ireland as a whole, noted European Commissioner, Phil Hogan, who said, "The Irish agri-business sector contributes enormously to the Irish economy and particularly to the rural economy. There are huge opportunities for companies like Devenish who have a vision for the future, but they are operating in a highly competitive environment, where investment, particularly in research and innovation, is essential to maintain a competitive edge."

Beyond Ireland, this funding will help Devenish realize its ambitions on a global scale.

"Equally, the support of both Ulster Bank and Danske Bank is crucial in enabling us to progress our future growth plans as we seek to develop Devenish's presence in domestic and international markets and enhance our manufacturing capabilities worldwide," said Kennedy.

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