The Irish Farmers Journal understands the Devenish farm at Dowth, near Drogheda, Co Meath, is for sale with an asking price between €12m and 16m.
The farm has played host to a number of high-profile visitors over the last 10 years, including Princess Anne and many state leaders. For the last five years many students have carried out research in conjunction with University College Dublin on the farm.
The farm runs to 180ha and borders the River Boyne. Included in the sale is Netterville Manor, which was purchased by Devenish and acted as the company’s European headquarters.
Devenish is now headquartered in Belfast in Northern Ireland, with sites across Ireland, the UK, US, Mexico, Turkey and Uganda. The company employs upwards of 750 people globally, trading in over 50 countries.
Over the last number of months some high-profile employees have left the company. In October 2022, Richard Kennedy stepped down as CEO and was replaced by Tony McEntee. The company is majority owned by Owen Brennan. However, equity partners invested in the company last year.
A number of recent trading issues included the difficulty in replacing minerals for key clients when a fire in a store house destroyed €30m worth of vitamins and minerals, which was a major setback to the business during COVID.
The Russian war on Ukraine also affected the company’s supply of grain for pig rations.
The Irish Farmers Journal understands that talks are ongoing between the US, the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland Government on the purchase of Dowth to set it up as an agri-food theme park and research farm.
In the past, Devenish has sponsored the Irish show jumping team, the Meath GAA team, athletic scholars in UCD, as well as a host of other national and international events.