- Hans Weber
- November 29, 2023
Agrofert: from the Czech Republic to Europe
The Czech Republic’s largest private employer, Agrofert, is celebrating 30 years of its establishment this January. What started as a small trading firm with just four employees, Agrofert has now become a thriving group with over 250 subsidiaries across various sectors, including agriculture, chemical industry, food processing, renewable energy, and media, among others. With a turnover of more than 7.5 billion euros and a workforce of 31,000 employees across 15 countries, Agrofert has made a remarkable and unlikely success story.
Since its early days, Agrofert has focused on connecting land maintenance with agriculture and chemicals, benefiting both livestock and crop production and eventually food processing. The company has built a well-integrated agro-food organization in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and over the years, it has developed significant production capacities in central Europe through a series of strategic industrial acquisitions. Today, Agrofert defines itself as a proud Czech company while its activities have become largely international, stretching across Europe and beyond.
In 2022, Agrofert submitted an offer to acquire the nitrogen business of Austria-based Borealis group, valuing the business at 810 million euros. With the acquisition, Agrofert would almost double its manufacturing capacities and secure a reliable supply of nitrogen fertilizers for the agricultural industry across Europe. The acquisition would enhance Agrofert’s capabilities to serve its growing customer base with the addition of Borealis’ manufacturing sites in Austria, Germany, and France, as well as its sales and distribution network.
The acquisition requires approval from several jurisdictions, including the European Commission’s antitrust services. By securing a reliable supply of nitrogen fertilizers, Agrofert aims to contribute to Europe’s food self-sufficiency and its position in the global food market. Additionally, the acquisition will provide opportunities to address environmental, public health, and safety issues, allowing for larger investments in sustainable nitrogen fertilizers production in Europe.
In conclusion, Agrofert’s journey from a small trading firm to a thriving multinational group is a testament to its entrepreneurial spirit, risk-taking, and sharp business philosophy. With the acquisition of Borealis’ nitrogen business, Agrofert is poised to make a significant contribution to the agricultural industry and Europe’s food self-sufficiency.
Article by Prague Forum