Buccleuch divests of shareholding in Alba Trees Ltd

Cibus Fund II (‘Cibus’), the specialist sustainable food and agriculture fund, has successfully completed the acquisition of Alba Trees Limited (‘Alba’ or ‘Alba Trees’).


Alba Trees is a UK market leader in the production and supply of cell-grown plants for sustainable forestry, native woodland and hedgerows. Cibus and Alba Trees will expand existing production while focusing on best-in class agronomy and precision technology to prioritise plant health, product quality and resource efficiency. As a specialist in agtech and controlled environment agriculture, Cibus will leverage synergies with other portfolio companies within the existing Cibus portfolio. A core focus for Cibus is environmental sustainability and ensuring it is addressed at every level of the supply chain. This aim is shared with Alba and will be at the centre of the company’s future growth plans, aligning with the UK Government’s ambitions to plant nearly a million hectares of new woodland in order to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Rob Appleby, Founder and CIO at Cibus Capital LLP, investment adviser to the Cibus funds, said: “Our partnership with Alba Trees brings an exciting addition to the Cibus portfolio. We are investing in companies which prioritise decarbonisation, promote sustainable forestry, woodland creation and biodiversity. Alba Trees is an industry leader in this sector, providing farmers and landowners with the tools to achieve superior commercial returns and climate resilience.”

Tom Ritchie, Cibus Capital LLP Investment Director, said: “Alba plays a prominent role in the UK forestry sector and is a large-scale contributor to biodiversity and natural capital projects. We look forward to working with Alba to harness the benefits of cell-grown trees and to maximise the company’s future potential.”

Craig Turner, CEO of Alba Trees, added: “Our new partnership with Cibus marks an exciting step in our growth journey. The firm’s expertise and strong experience investing in agriculture and agtech will enable us to scale our business, embrace technology and to continue to invest in plant health.”
Over the last 15 years, Buccleuch, a leading rural business group, has been the majority shareholder in Alba Trees.

Jon Alexander, COO of Buccleuch & Chairman of Alba Trees, prior to the acquisition, said: “In our time with Alba Trees, the business has gone from strength to strength, and we plan to re-invest the proceeds from the sale of our shareholding in our core rural business enterprises.

Buccleuch’s relationship with Alba Trees will continue and I wish all at Alba well for this exciting new chapter for the company.”