Olam sheds stake in Canadian grain trade

Agrifood giant Olam International has ended its year-and-a-half-long foray into the Canadian grain trading business.

The Singapore-based food processing and commodity supply firm announced Thursday it has shed its 50 per cent stake in Lansing Olam Canada, its ag commodity trading joint venture with U.S. grain marketing firm Lansing Trade Group.

Lansing Olam trades grains in the four western provinces and maintains its head office in Hamilton.

“Our exit from Canada will allow us to concentrate our resources on the rest of our grains businesses in line with the company’s refreshed strategy,” KC Suresh, president of Olam’s global grains business, said in a release.

Olam’s break from Lansing Olam is structured as a share repurchase deal worth US$5.4 million. The operation will continue in Hamilton with Kansas-based Lansing as its sole owner.

The two companies launched their joint business in July 2012, just ahead of the deregulation of the Canadian Wheat Board’s single marketing desk for Prairie wheat and barley, for “merchandising Canadian grains and oilseeds to meet the food and feed demand in North America” and other markets overseas.

Olam and Lansing had said at the time their complementary strengths would give them “a strong platform to establish a meaningful position in the liberalized western Canadian grains marketplace.”

Lansing, which previously maintained trading offices in Winnipeg and Chatham, last summer took over southwestern Ontario grain handler and processor Thompsons Ltd. in a joint venture with U.S. agrifood firm The Andersons.

Olam, which operates directly in over 65 countries and processes products including cocoa, coffee, cashews, sesame, rice, cotton and wood, has no other Canadian operations. — AGCanada.com Network

Related stories:

Asian/U.S. j.v. seeks post-CWB market share, June 22, 2012
U.S. firms Andersons, LTG to buy Thompsons, June 3, 2013

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