Co-op Atlantic announced Nov. 17 that it has entered into a purchase and sale agreement with La Coop Federee (LCF) for the sale of assets related to Co-op Atlantic’s agricultural business.
The proposed purchase and sales arrangement would see LCF purchase the majority of the agricultural assets including feed mills in Moncton, N.B., and Truro and New Minas, N.S., as well as the farm supply and grain brokerage companies.
"We are very pleased that LCF has agreed to purchase Co-op Atlantic’s agricultural assets,” Co-op Atlantic chief executive officer Bryan Inglis said. "This sale is in the best interests of Co-op Atlantic and its stakeholders and will help to ensure that the co-operative movement remains within Atlantic Canada, which is great news for the region’s farmers and producers.”
It’s expected that LCF will offer employment to the majority of existing Co-op Agriculture employees.
“LCF is very familiar with this region and we believe will be a good fit for the local farmers and for the family of independently owned agricultural stores across the region,” Inglis added.
LCF "is pursuing an already well-established relationship with Co-op Atlantic and producers in the Maritimes (provinces). This will therefore ensure that the tradition of agricultural cooperation with the Atlantic Provinces will be followed," LCF president Denis Richard said. "By acquiring the majority of the agricultural assets from Co-op Atlantic, our intention is to continue to operate the activities in the sectors acquired and to offer quality agricultural products and services to the farmers in that region and to all current clients."
In addition, Co-op Atlantic has announced that it has entered into an agreement for the sale of its shares in Country Ribbon to Atlantic Poultry Inc. (API). The agreement allows Co-op Atlantic to continue to solicit and pursue superior offers for the Country Ribbon shares for a period of 30 days from the date of the agreement, with the API transaction serving as a “stalking horse bid”.
Country Ribbon is a Newfoundland-based integrated chicken producer and processor, with three operating facilities in or near St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Since the fall of 2014, the Co-op Group has carried out an extensive process of exploring and pursuing a wide range of options and alternatives to address persistent financial challenges faced by the business. As part of this process, Co-op Atlantic completed a previously announced sale transaction with Sobeys Capital Inc., in which Sobeys acquired the majority of the assets of the Co-Op Group’s wholesale and retail food and gas businesses. As well, Co-op Atlantic announced the sale of Co-op Energy Assets to CST Canada (Ultramar) earlier this month.
Founded in 1922, LCF is the largest agri-food enterprise in Quebec and ranks amongst the top 100 largest cooperatives and mutual societies in the world, across all sectors. It represents more than 100,000 members grouped into 102 cooperatives with operations located across Quebec, New Brunswick, Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Its network consists of five brands: Elite and La Coop (livestock and crop production, and grain marketing), Unimat (hardware and farm machinery), Sonic (energy), and Olymel (meat processing).
Founded as Maritime Livestock Board in 1927 and incorporated as Maritime Co-operative Services Ltd. in 1944, the co-operative federation and wholesaler changed its name to Co-op Atlantic in 1977. Co-op Atlantic provides agricultural, energy and social housing/real estate services to organizations and businesses in communities in Canada's Atlantic region.