Sask. grain handler cancels share buyback in dry spell

An independent grain terminal in parched northwestern Saskatchewan has called off a planned share repurchase, to conserve cash against a possible drop in its grain handle.

North West Terminal, which operates a grain terminal and ethanol plant just east of Unity, about 90 km southwest of North Battleford, said Thursday it won’t go ahead with the share buyback as announced in February.

The buyback plan had called for NWT to repurchase about $800,000 worth of Class A and Class B NWT shares from shareholders, who are mainly local farmers.

The move, when announced in February, was described as a way to offer a “liquidity option” for shareholders who may be exiting farming and wanting to redeem their shares.

However, NWT’s board is “very concerned about dryness in the region, as this has the potential to greatly reduce grain handling volumes,” company president and local farmer Brad Sperle said Thursday in a release.

The dry spell, on top of lower oil prices and reduced margins for the company’s ethanol and bioproducts business, “will likely mean lower revenues” for both the grain and ethanol operations, he said.

The company may reconsider an issuer bid in the future “if circumstances change,” Sperle said. — Network


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