Moy Park puts poultry farms on market for nearly £2m

Moy Park puts poultry farms on market for nearly £2m

Northern Ireland poultry producer Moy Park has put three poultry farms up for sale and leaseback for almost £2m.

The company said the sites in Coleraine, Ballybogey and Crumlin, which have capacity for more than 500,000 birds in total, were being put on the market as part of a refurbishment process.

According to a sales brochure from selling agents OKT, the farm at Gateside Road in Coleraine includes 12 poultry houses and a proposed land cost of £500,000. Its sheds are described as “relatively dated” and do not have windows.

The second farm, at Benvardin Road in Ballybogey, has eight houses and a proposed land cost of £350,000. The condition of its houses is described as “fair to poor”.

Gateside Road’s refurbishment costs are estimated at £2.6m, with Benvarden Road at £1.6m.

The farm at Nutts Corner in Crumlin, which has nine poultry houses, has a land cost of £850,000. The cost of its refurbishment is put at £3m.

According to the brochure, Moy Park wants to reach an agreement to lease back the farms following refurbishment by the new owners.

Their sale was not linked to an announcement earlier this year that the processing of live birds at Moy Park’s Ballymena site was being halted, a spokeswoman said.

OKT said the sale process was an opportunity to acquire two well-located poultry farms which required extensive refurbishment and refitting due to age.

It said: “We are instructed to find a purchaser to buy our client’s freehold/long leasehold interest… and, in addition, negotiate the accompanying rental framework whereby you as future owner would lease back to Moy Park the refurbished farms.”

In January, Moy Park said it would be suspending the processing of live birds at Ballymena until September, partly in response to labour market challenges.

Brian Turtle of OKT said Moy Park has already sold and leased back some of its farms in England.

“These poultry farms are substantial but a bit out of date. For growing modern chicken efficiently, they would need a lot of money spent on them.

“Rather than [Moy Park] doing that themselves, they are putting them up for sale, requiring them to be refurbed to their specification. They [Moy Park] will become tenant rather than landlord.

“It’s an opportunity for a developer/investor to buy an asset and gain a gilt-edged tenant.”

Moy Park is Northern Ireland’s biggest private sector employer, with around 6,3000 employees here. The company reported revenues of £1.49bn in its latest accounts.