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Richardson to buy SE Alta. crop input centres

A family-owned ag retail business in eastern Alberta is set to become the latest addition to the Richardson International crop input network.

Winnipeg-based Richardson, Canada’s second-biggest grain handler, announced Tuesday it has signed a deal to buy CJS Agro Services, operating at Hussar and Acadia Valley, Alta., for an undisclosed sum.

CJS Agro’s location at Hussar, about 90 km east of Calgary, is a "full-service crop input centre" that sells retail ag chemicals, fertilizer and seed, Richardson said.

The company’s other outlet at Acadia Valley, about 100 km southwest of Kindersley, Sask., sells seed and crop protection products.

The deal is expected to close by March 2, Richardson said, and CJS employees at both sites will be "offered the opportunity to join the Richardson team."

"Through this acquisition, we continue to grow our crop input business and expand our Richardson Pioneer network into new geographic areas," Darwin Sobkow, Richardson’s vice-president, agribusiness operations, said in a release.

Richardson Pioneer’s closest grain handling facilities to the two centres include an elevator at Oyen, about 30 km northwest of Acadia Valley, and another at Carseland, about 75 km southwest of Hussar.

Richardson has made a few plays into the ag input business in recent years, buying three crop input locations in Alberta’s Peace region in 2010 and four more in eastern Saskatchewan with its purchase of North East Terminal last spring.

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