Cargill selling grain, crop input assets in Ontario

Transaction includes 50% stake in South West Ag Partners.

Cargill announced March 22 that it has reached an agreement to sell its grain and crop input retail assets in Ontario, including its ownership in South West Ag Partners, to La Coop fédérée, an agri-food cooperative with operations across Canada.

The sale comprises 13 retail assets for grain and crop inputs and Cargill's 50% share of South West Ag Partners, a joint venture that includes nine grain and crop inputs facilities in Ontario. The sale does not include the Cargill export terminal in Sarnia or the AgResource crop inputs wholesale business. All other Cargill grain and crop input assets in Canada and all other Cargill businesses in Ontario or throughout Canada are not included in the sale agreement.

Terms of the pending sale are not being disclosed. Finalization of the transaction will take place upon the completion of definitive agreements and any required regulatory reviews, which are expected during the second quarter of the calendar year.

"Cargill continually evaluates its assets to ensure its sites are operating efficiently and are competitive in the areas it serves," said Dave Baudler, managing director for Cargill's grain business. "After an in-depth evaluation of our grain and crop inputs businesses in Ontario, we came to the conclusion that a sale of those assets was the best path forward to remain competitive and deliver on our growth strategy. La Coop fédérée was the buyer of choice to ensure a smooth transition for employees and customers."

Sébastien Léveillé, executive agribusiness vice president for La Coop fédérée, said the company's Agromart retail network and LCF grain trading businesses have been growing steadily in recent years, and the addition of these facilities will be a complementary fit to existing operations in Ontario, which already include four crop input terminals, 16 locally owned joint venture retailers and a grain trading group.

Glenn Houser, managing director for Cargill's crop input business, reiterated Cargill's dedication to its growers and customers. "Cargill remains committed to helping Canadian growers and agricultural producers succeed," Houser said. "We will maintain the operation of 40 crop inputs retail locations, 26 elevator assets, five export terminals and two oilseed processing facilities to serve growers throughout the country."

Léveillé said, "We are confident that existing customers will benefit greatly from our experience and expertise in providing crop input, grain handling and merchandising services in the region and from having access to a broad agribusiness retail network that reaches well beyond Ontario, with over a hundred affiliated locations across Canada.

The Ontario facilities included in the sale to La Coop fédérée are:

  • Cargill grain -- Melbourne, Princeton, Shetland, Staples and Talbotville;
  • Cargill crop inputs -- Alliston, Clinton, Courtland, Harriston, Harrow, Melbourne, Mount Albert, Princeton, Shetland, Talbotville, Tilbury and Waterford;
  • South West Ag Partners grain -- Becher, Grande Pointe, Palmerston Grain, Rutherford, Tupperville, Wallaceburg and all grain satellite relationships, and
  • South West Ag Partners crop inputs -- Becher, Dover, Eberts, Ridgetown and Rutherford.
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