Essex-based investment company Milbank Group has acquired Orion Future Technology, following a successful retirement sale from owners Martyn Charik and Gidon Bahiri.

Established in 2005, Orion FT is a provider of silicon-based bio-stimulant technology and a lead provider of plant nutrient solutions.

Orion FT have developed novel product formulations that stimulate natural plant defence mechanisms to protect crops against pest and disease attack.

Over the past 15 years the business has grown from its operational base in the UK to sales in 20 countries around the world.

The sale to the Milbank Group adds to its range of agricultural businesses including ARK Agriculture Ltd and Thomas & Fontaine Ltd (trading as Secure Covers).

Martyn Charik and Gidon Bahiri, founders and directors of Orion FT said, “We set Orion up 15 years ago and have really enjoyed developing it into the successful international business it is today.

“We have also enjoyed working with our wonderful customers and friends at Reading and Hertfordshire Universities. We thank them for the friendship and loyalty developed over the years.

“We explored a number of options for some time and both agreed that the family owned Milbank Group, with its young management team, would take the business forward whilst maintaining the high level of service, research and development that our customers are used to.”

The Milbank Group currently has five businesses within the Group, comprising £33m in sales and over 250 employees. Businesses include; Milbank Concrete Products, Sui Generis International, Cadman Cranes, ARK Agriculture and Thomas & Fontaine (t/a Secure Covers).

James Kennedy, formally of Gemini Agriculture and Certis UK, will take over as Orion FT Commercial Director with immediate effect, and will be supported by the team at ARK Agriculture (a Milbank Group company).