CWB seals Sask. terminal deal on PWT shareholders’ approval

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The grain company formerly known as the Canadian Wheat Board now formally owns an elevator network in western Saskatchewan.

CWB announced Monday it has formally completed its friendly takeover of farmer-owned Prairie West Terminal (PWT) after the company’s farmer-owners and other shareholders voted 99.5 per cent in favour of the deal at a May 30 meeting.

“We have always valued farmers, and the solid support we’ve received through this vote tells us farmers and the community like the direction CWB is headed,” CWB CEO Ian White said in a release.

CWB announced in April it would pay $43.23 million cash for the remaining 90 per cent of PWT, pending PWT shareholder approval, after CWB took a 10 per cent ownership stake in January. [Related story]

“Farmers can be assured that all Prairie West Terminal contracts will be honoured by CWB, and CWB customers can continue to sign up CWB contracts and deliver CWB-contracted grain to each of Prairie West’s facilities. This is business-as-usual for all of Prairie West’s current and future customers.”

All tonnes delivered to PWT facilities will be eligible for an equity interest in CWB under Winnipeg-based CWB’s farmer equity plan, the company noted.

Through the equity plan, farmers who deliver against CWB contracts to any Prairie elevator will be eligible for an ownership stake in CWB after the former Wheat Board is fully privatized. [Related]

PWT was set up in 1998 as a joint venture with grain handler Agricore United (AU, now part of Viterra) to build an inland terminal between Dodsland and Plenty, Sask., about 70 km northeast of Kindersley. AU sold its 50 per cent stake to PWT’s farmer-owned company in 2002.

Facilities going to CWB in the deal include “The Concrete,” as the main inland terminal is called, plus PWT elevators at Kindersley, Plenty, Luseland and Dodsland.

In all, the facilities include over 78,000 tonnes of storage, a high-capacity grain cleaning line, high-throughput dryer, colour sorters and high-throughput rail loading, and together move over 420,000 tonnes of grain per year. Its sites employ over 30 people in total.

PWT, which will operate as a CWB subsidiary, joins a CWB asset base developing quickly since the federal government deregulated the former Board’s single marketing desk for Prairie wheat and barley in 2012.

CWB’s handling assets already include Winnipeg-based Mission Terminal — including a Thunder Bay grain terminal, a grain elevator west of Brandon, Man., and stakes in three Prairie producer-car loading facilities and five shortline rail operations — plus a St. Lawrence River commodity handling facility, Les Elevateurs des Trois-Rivieres.

CWB also announced, in March and April respectively, it will build a 33,900-tonne capacity high-throughput elevator at Bloom, Man., west of Portage la Prairie, and a 42,000-tonne capacity steel facility at Colonsay, Sask., about 60 km east of Saskatoon. – Network


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