U.S. firms Andersons, LTG to buy Thompsons

A U.S. agriprocessing player and commodities merchandiser have paired up to buy a well-known name in southwestern Ontario grain and oilseed handling and ag inputs.

The Andersons and Lansing Trade Group (LTG) on Monday announced a joint-venture deal to buy Thompsons Ltd., to close early in the company’s third fiscal quarter.

Terms of the deal were undisclosed — except that the Thompsons business will continue to operate under the Thompsons name, and the two companies will own equal shares of Thompsons.

Also, Kansas City-based LTG, which operates offices at Hamilton and Chatham, Ont., will consolidate its Chatham office into Thompsons as part of the agreement.

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Thompsons’ assets include its 12 elevators, 11 retail farm centres, two seed processing plants, five bean processing plants, a wheat processing plant, a trading office handling corn, soybeans and wheat, and precision ag service company Laresco. It also offers custom application services and rents fertilizer application equipment.

The Bleinheim-based company’s handling branches are at Blenheim, Pain Court, Rodney, Coatsworth, Kent Bridge, Granton, Hensall, Mitchell, Norwich, Port Albert and Bethany in Ontario, and at East Grand Forks, on the Minnesota side of the Red River across from Grand Forks, N.D.

The company’s elevators take in crops from bean-growing areas of Ontario, Manitoba, Minnesota, North Dakota and Michigan. In all, Thompsons has combined owned and leased grain storage capacity of 20 million bushels and 30,000 tonnes of fertilizer storage capacity.

“Our employees’ commitment to our industry enables the company to remain a stand-alone business and continue under the Thompsons name,” Thompsons president Wes Thompson said in a release.

“We believe this change will provide a broader range of opportunities for our employees, enhance our customer relationships and provide even stronger support for our communities.”

For The Andersons, based in the Toledo area, the deal “establishes a foothold in Ontario with a similarly diversified agricultural company adjacent to our eastern corn-belt roots. It also enables us to leverage our strengths with those of our partner Lansing Trade Group,” CEO Mike Anderson said.

“Having the opportunity for Lansing to grow our existing Canadian presence with such a cornerstone company fits our long-term strategy,” LTG CEO Bill Krueger added.

Furthermore, he said, LTG’s partnership with The Andersons “will facilitate the entity’s immediate growth in the crop nutrients sector.”

Thompsons, meanwhile, “will benefit from the combined strength of Lansing and The Andersons in its other areas of business including grains, food-grade products and farm services,” Krueger added.

Related story:
Ont. bean processor plans expansion, Sept. 9, 2010

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