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Coop federee buys into Agromart chain

Quebec’s federation of ag co-operatives, La Coop federee, has signed a deal to buy Agronomy Co. of Canada from U.S. ag co-ops Land O’Lakes and CHS for an undisclosed sum.

Agronomy Co.’s holdings include Wellburn Agromart Ltd., a crop inputs and grain company at Wellburn, Ont., and ownership stakes in 20 Agromart retail outlets, including 16 in Ontario, two in New Brunswick and one each at Truro, N.S. and Albany, P.E.I.

The deal also includes Agronomy Co.’s grain assets and corporate office at Belton, Ont., about 20 km north of London, and indirect ownership stakes in Agromarts’ “affiliated businesses” includng Agromart Terminals and Agromart Processing Co., both based at Belton.

The deal is expected to close Dec. 31, the companies said in a release Friday.

La Coop federee’s CEO Claude Lafleur said the acquisition supports its focus on being the “first co-operative marketer and supplier in Eastern Canada for Canadian agricultural producers.”

La Coop federee, also well known as the owner of pork processing firm Olymel, has been “pursuing its expansion throughout Canada thanks to acquisitions comparable to the one being announced today,” Lafleur said.

“We are convinced that our expertise, when combined with that of our new partners involved in this transaction, will benefit all our clients,” he said in the release.

Agronomy Co.’s joint owners, Land O’Lakes, best known in the U.S. dairy, food and feed sectors, and CHS, which produces Cenex brand fuels and markets ag inputs, both described the sale as a “positive strategic initiative.”

“This transaction enables us to further intensify our focus on wholesale crop nutrients and crop protection products,” said Chris Policinski and John Johnson, the CEOs of Land O’Lakes and CHS respectively, in a joint statement in the release.

“Further, we were pleased to be able to position Agronomy Company of Canada with a buyer that offers considerable experience and expertise within the inputs, seed and crop protection industry.”

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