The European Commission has approved the creation of a joint venture supplying agricultural commodities, involving Cargill Plc and SCB Holdings (Sandy) Ltd (Banks), who will combine forces in the UK. Because the merger involves two significant players in the sector, the Commission examined the deal, but it has concluded that competition will not be seriously at risk, because of the existence of rival merchants.

Cargill is a subsidiary of the US group Cargill Inc., trades a wide range of commodities, processes and distributes foodstuffs and deals with agricultural merchanting. Banks markets cereals, oilseeds and pulses grown in the UK.

By Keith Nuthall, correspondent