CHS to shed Prairie crop input retail sites


U.S. farm co-operative CHS is stepping back from Canada’s Prairie crop input retail sector with a deal to sell its 10 retail locations to Richardson International.

Winnipeg-based Richardson on Tuesday announced it would buy CHS’s Alberta retail sites at Alix, Beiseker, Bow Island, Carseland, Craddock, Lacombe, Rolling Hills, Standard and Vauxhall, and the co-op’s lone Saskatchewan site at Edenwold, northeast of Regina.

Financial terms of the sale won’t be disclosed, a spokesperson for privately-held Richardson said. The deal is expected to close next month.

All 10 of the sites are full-service crop input retail outlets, providing chemical, fertilizer and seed services, Richardson said.

“We look forward to expanding our presence in these areas and working with local producers to provide them with leading seed, fertilizer and crop inputs technologies, supported by our CropWatch agronomy team and best-in-class service,” Tom Hamilton, Richardson’s vice-president for agribusiness operations, said in a release.

St. Paul, Minn.-based CHS had bought several of those retail outlets from Calgary fertilizer and crop retail firm Agrium in 2014.

Agrium was ordered by the federal Competition Bureau to sell several retail sites after making a deal to buy Viterra’s retail agri-products business. Those sites had included Agrium’s CPS stores at Bow Island and Lacombe and the Viterra stores at Alix, Craddock, Edenwold and Vauxhall.

CHS had already set up a stake in Prairie ag retail at that time, having bought the Alberta ag retail operations of DynAgra Corp. in 2012, including its sites at Beiseker, Standard, Rolling Hills and Carseland.

CHS’s remaining businesses in Canada include its energy operations, based in Calgary; a grain marketing office in Winnipeg; its stake in flour miller Ardent Mills; and a joint venture stake with Alberta co-operative UFA on Bridgeland, a retail and fertilizer operation in the province’s Peace region.

Richardson has been expanding its Richardson Pioneer network on the Prairies in recent years through both new builds and buys. The company this summer bought outlets at Vermilion and Forestburg, Alta., opened a new site at Elrose, Sask. last summer and plans to open a new site at Pasqua, Sask. next month.

Hamilton said Richardson “will continue to target strategic locations to expand our presence and ultimately offer our services, products and expertise to more producers across the Prairies.” –– Network


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