P+H to boost bid for Ont. grain handler

Prairie grain handler Parrish and Heimbecker has sweetened its takeover bid for a southern Ontario grain firm and mustard miller.

The Winnipeg company said Tuesday it will now offer shareholders of Goderich, Ont.-based Thirdcoast Ltd. an all-cash bid of $155 per share, up from its March offer of $115.

P+H said it boosted its offer after receiving and reviewing a formal valuation of Thirdcoast’s shares by National Bank Financial.

The bidder had to commission the independent valuation since it already owns a stake of 28 per cent of Thirdcoast outright, making it a Thirdcoast "insider."

P+H noted Tuesday it has now locked in commitments from shareholders that would boost its stake to at least 51.6 per cent.

The company said it will take up "any and all" shares tendered to its offer, and its bid has no conditions for financing or for a minimum number of shares to be committed.

"We are very pleased to be making the bid and to provide the shareholders of Thirdcoast with the opportunity to realize on the value of their shares at a price that we strongly believe is a fair price," P+H CEO William Parrish said in Tuesday’s release.

Formerly known as Goderich Elevators Ltd., Thirdcoast owns grain handling, processing and storage facilities at Goderich, Hamilton and Port Colborne, Ont. and also mills Prairie-grown mustard seed at Hamilton.

Thirdcoast noted last June that its grain handling operations were coming under direct pressure from P+H’s own new grain terminal at Hamilton, which opened in the fall of 2010.

"The new Parrish + Heimbecker Hamilton grain terminal will have a significant negative effect on the company’s grain handling volumes and margins in future years," Thirdcoast wrote at the time, noting the new terminal had already taken business from Thirdcoast’s Goderich and Port Colborne facilities.

Thirdcoast’s Goderich facilities also saw some "substantial damage" from the tornado that hit the area on Aug. 21 last year, though most operations were restored within a couple of days.

Related story:
P+H to make play for Great Lakes grain handler, March 6, 2012

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