BR Exclusive! Who are the biggest farm land owners in Romania? Foreigners competing with locals

Razvan Zamfir 11/07/2018 | 07:01

The most important event in Romanian agriculture is the transaction worth EUR 200 million that moved Agricost, the 57,000-hectare farm from Insula Mare a Brailei, under the control of UAE-based Al Dahra investment fund. This deal can influence the whole market as a standard. Agricost is the largest farm in Romania, with revenues of RON 359 million last year and subsidies of around RON 51.5 million.

On the second place in terms of subsidies received is poultry producer Avicola Buzau, with RON 31.9 million, followed by Tebu Consult Invest Braila, with RON 28.6 million.

In fact, according to data offered to BR by APIA, seven of the ten most important subsidy recipients are specialised in poultry, and the other three – Agricost, Intercereal Ialomita, with RON 21.9 million and Comcereal Vaslui, with RON 15.5 million – are active in grain production.

The top owners or leasers of agricultural land in Romania are different than the top recipients of subsidies, as there are almost one hundred different types of subsidies.

According to Adrian Pintea, general manager of APIA, the highest percentages are maize and wheat crops and their respective amounts are as follows: SAPS (Single Area Payment Scheme) of EUR 97, 2452/ha and ANT 1 (National Transition Aid for arable crops) of EUR 16,0078/ha.

The largest farms in Romania

Agricost – 57,000 hectares in Insula Mare a Brailei. Recently the company was bought by UAE fund Al Dahra in a transaction estimated at EUR 200 million. Last year, the company with 830 employees reached revenues of RON 359 million and a net profit of RON 73.3 million.

Jihad el Khalil agricultural business – 35,000 hectares. The Lebanese businessman controls the Maria group of companies in Calarasi, consisting of three companies with the same field of activity – cultivation of cereals, leguminous plants and plants producing oilseeds. Recently, Jihad el Khalil extended his business in Timis, where he operates another 6,000 hectares.

Comcereal Vaslui – 25,000 hectares. The agricultural group previously owned by Adrian Porumboiu was sold in 2015 to Delta Commodity & Financial Services, which resold it to UAE Babylon Overseas, and is now in a middle of a conflict, as Porumboiu is trying to recover it because the conditions imposed on the buyers have not been met. In fact, recently the Romanian businessman announced that Comcereal Vaslui is again in his portfolio.

Cerealcom Dolj – 25,000 hectares. Owned by Mihai Anghel, the group owns 8 silos and 15 receptions with a total capacity of 350,000 tonnes of cereals. Annually, the group runs 400,000 tons of grain, distributed both domestically and externally in countries such as Greece, Italy, Germany, Cyprus, Spain, Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, Libya.

Bardeau Holding – around 21,000 hectares. A business related to the Austrian count Andreas von Bardeau, the fifth largest arable landowner in the EU, controlling 21,000 hectares in Arad, Timis, Caras Severin and Arges. The company has its own transport infrastructure, two storage facilities with a total capacity of 32,000 tons, processing capabilities and marketing activities.

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