The value of the transaction will not be disclosed by the contracting parties. According to the estimate of two sources of the Hospodářské noviny (HN) server, the value of the transaction may be around one billion crowns.
In total, according to the Central Agricultural Inspection and Testing Institute, there are roughly 4,940 hectares planted with hops in the Czech Republic. There are around 120 growers, with over three quarters of hops grown in the Žatec hop region.
The companies of the Top Hop group cultivate more than 3,600 hectares of agricultural land, of which almost 550 hectares are hop farms. All of them are in the Žateck hop region.
The main business of the five subsidiaries is primarily agricultural primary production with a focus on growing hops, but also other crop production and cattle breeding.
According to the annual report for 2021, Top Hop harvested 1,521 tons of hops, which corresponds to a quarter of the total production in the Czech Republic for that year.
“The Agrofert concern has long-term cooperation with Top Hop companies. With the acquisition, we are acquiring a well-functioning company, quality arable land, and we are also expanding our business in the field of hops. Until now, we managed 160 hectares of hop fields and were among the five largest hop growers in the Czech Republic,” said the director of the agricultural division and executive director of Agrofert, Josef Mráz.
The authorities are going to reclaim millions of subsidies for Agrofert
Top Hop is one of the suppliers of hops for Pilsen’s Prazdroj, said Prazdroj’s spokesman Zdeněk Kovář. “We buy hops through our business partners from dozens of domestic growers, from small farmers to the largest growers,” he said.
Holding Agrofert brings together almost 200 companies. It operates in the chemical industry, agriculture and food industry. In addition, it also owns forestry companies, and also operates in the segment of land technologies and engineering, logistics, transport and the media. Last year, the holding’s consolidated sales rose by 15 percent to 184.8 billion crowns. Profit after taxation rose to 5.8 billion crowns from 3.8 billion CZK in 2020.
Until February 2017, Agrofert was owned by the former prime minister and chairman of the ANO movement, Andrej Babiš, who put his shares into trust funds due to the Conflict of Interest Act. However, according to the State Registry of Real Owners, he is the real owner of the holding, and still controls it, also according to the European Commission’s audit.