Agrium buys hort and turf input supplier

A company billed as Western Canada’s top supplier of inputs to the horticulture and turf crop industry is set to be wed to fertilizer and ag retail giant Agrium’s similar operations in the East.

Agrium announced Wednesday it has bought Delta, B.C.-based Evergro Canada, including six distribution plants across southern B.C. and one in Calgary, for an undisclosed sum.

Evergro is to be merged into the company’s Agrium Advanced Technologies (AAT) arm, as part of AAT’s Direct Solutions segment, Agrium said.

The Direct Solutions business markets fertilizer, seed and inputs to professional turf and ornamental growers — but mainly in Eastern Canada and the U.S.

The combined company, Agrium said, will operate under the name AAT Direct Solutions and will thus become Canada’s biggest supplier to professional turf and horticulture customers.

The deal is expected to allow Agrium to “expand its footprint within Canada, while enhancing its expertise in providing controlled-release fertilizers, pest control and soil amendment products as well as turf and vegetable seed products to the North American specialty marketplace.”

Evergro’s fertilizer and grass seed blending and bagging facility at Delta is also expected to provide AAT with “expanded support for its growing business within the Pacific Rim.”

“Complementary”

Evergro operates six sales offices and warehouses across southern B.C., including its Delta headquarters and sites at Abbotsford, Kelowna, Vancouver, Victoria and Lantzville (just northwest of Nanaimo), plus its office and warehouse in Calgary’s Highfield area.

The company’s clients include vegetable and berry producers, hothouse vegetable and flower producers, ornamental and forest nurseries, garden centres and turf grass customers such as golf courses and landscapers. Agrium pegged Evergro’s total sales at about $60 million per year.

Calgary-based Agrium said it expects “limited disruption” to either company’s customers given their “complementary nature” in sales and operations.

The combined product and service offering is expected to “allow us to realize significant synergies as we continue to grow our business,” Andrew Mittag, Agrium’s AAT president, said in Wednesday’s release.

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