CPS to seek buyer for Sask. farm supply outlet

A deal for Agrium’s Crop Production Services (CPS) to buy a crop input retail chain in north-central Saskatchewan will require the company to sell off a retail outlet and a pair of its storage sites.

The federal Competition Bureau on Monday announced it has an agreement with CPS over its planned deal to buy six crop input retail outlets from Wendland Ag Services, based at Waldheim, Sask., about 50 km north of Saskatoon.

In its review, the bureau said, it found the proposed deal “would likely lead to a substantial lessening or prevention of competition in the retail supply of anhydrous ammonia and urea to farmers in certain areas of Saskatchewan.”

The Wendland business, which began as a fuel dealership in 1955 and expanded into crop inputs in the late 1960s, today includes outlets at Rosthern, Domremy, Blaine Lake, Delmas, Saskatoon and Cut Knife.

CPS’ consent agreement with the bureau calls for the company to divest a retail outlet at Rosthern, about 25 km east of Waldheim.

The agreement also calls for CPS to sell a pair of its anhydrous ammonia storage tanks — one at Leask, about 60 km north of Waldheim, and one at Hoey, about 35 km south of Prince Albert.

Given the “importance of providing additional product offerings beyond anhydrous ammonia to compete effectively,” the bureau said it will also have to assess whether would-be buyers of the tanks have “effective complementary retail facilities nearby.”

“The merging parties’ continued co-operation throughout the process was instrumental in reaching a timely consent agreement that will ensure that Saskatchewan growers have access to competitive prices and product choices,” John Pecman, the federal commissioner of competition, said in the bureau’s release. — AGCanada.com Network

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