Chalk firm and laboratory in Needham Market to ‘flourish’ after multi million pound sale

Needham Chalks sold to Harlow Agricultural Merchants
Needham Chalks sold to Harlow Agricultural Merchants
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The country’s largest supplier of knapped flints for the building trade, Needham Chalks, has been sold in a multi million pound deal.

The sale to Harlow Agricultural Merchants (HAM) follows the death of managing director David Smither, killed in an accident in April last year.

The business, set up by his father Maurice in 1947, was taken over by David in the 1980s.

It specialises in quarrying, processing and selling chalks, mainly for agricultural liming.

The Needham Market firm operates quarries across East Anglia and is now the largest producer of quarried agricultural chalks in the regi0n with reserves of around £2.5m tonnes.

The sale includes another business owned by the family.

Alliance Technical Laboratories (ATLL) is the leading independent contract analytical laboratory in East Anglia, running chemistry and microbiology tests on food, water, effluent, soil and compost, for the environmental and industrial markets.

Group Chief executive Paul McCartney said: “It is reassuring for David’s family to know that the businesses are now in the right hands for them to further flourish in the future.”

No redundancies are expected.

The deal was negotiated by Prism Corporate Broking.