In Slovakia, FirstFarms undertook one of the largest Danish agricultural investments in Eastern Europe with the acquisition in 2005, 2006 and 2007 of three farming companies in Slovakia: Agra M., Mast Stupava and Mlyn, located 20-30 km north of the capital, Bratislava. Here the company operates approximately 8,300 hectares, consisting primarily of leasehold fertile farmland, and has built up a stock of approximately 2,100 dairy cows plus young cattle. The aim is to achieve a stock of 3,400 dairy cows and to attain this objective , the company has started a construction of cattle stables, which shall be finished at the end of 2009. The new cattle stables will be housing 2,700 dairy cows.
In the three companies, FirstFarms has achieved significant progress in terms of efficiency and production by virtue of focused production investments and successful implementation of the business concept, which involves use of Danish agricultural management and know-how. The three companies are being operated together and thus the companies are also achieving economies of scale.
FirstFarms’ activities in Slovakia is shown below:
Source: European Commission
No. 1 - Agra M.
No. 2 - Mast Stupava
No. 3 - Mlyn Zahorie A/S
The three companies are situated close to the international airport in Bratislava and to the great industrial zones, which includes the Volkswagen factories as one the largest businesses in the area. Furthermore there is a relatively good infrastructure in the area and the companies are sited close to the motorway.
Agra M. was originally established in 1995, with the privatisation of two cooperatives. In the 1960s the cooperatives were a collective farm with large-scale operations using the most modern technology available at the time and employing over 800 staff. In 2005 Agra M. was purchased by eight Danish investors, and subsequently ownership was transferred to FirstFarms A/S, with Agra M. now under Danish management. The company had a cattle stock of approximately 900 cows and leased 4,200 hectares of agricultural land, but on acquisition the company was totally worn down and financially distressed. Agra M. is based in the city of Malacky, which is located approximately 30 km north of Bratislava, the Slovakian capital.
In September 2007 FirstFarms acquired its third Slovakian agricultural company, Mlyn Zahorie A/S, which is located nearby Agra M and Mast Stupava. The company possesses over 2,000 hectares of leasehold property.