U.S. trader Lansing takes bigger stake in Providence

Prairie grain handler Providence Grain Group is set to add some merchandising bench strength as its silent partner takes a bigger stake.

Kansas-based Lansing Trade Group, which maintains grain trading desks in Western Canada, announced in late March it will increase its stake in Alberta-based Providence Grain to 38 per cent, up from about 12 per cent previously.

Providence, as part of the deal, said it will merge Lansing’s Prairie offices into its own handling and merchandising operations under the Providence banner.

“Combining these two businesses is a chance to align the strong asset base and merchandising of Providence with the Lansing team and build a larger network across the Prairies,” the companies said in a release March 23.

Financial terms weren’t disclosed in the deal, which was expected to close at the end of March. Providence CEO Milton Miller will continue to lead the merged operations, which will still be based in Fort Saskatchewan, Alta.

Providence operates a grain elevator and crop input business at Gaudin, Alta., northeast of Fort Saskatchewan; elevators at Crossfield and Viking, Alta. and Marengo, Sask.; and a crop input business at Waskatenau, Alta.

Providence also operates the Columbia Containers business at the Port of Vancouver, and grain trading offices at Winnipeg and Blenheim, Ont.

Lansing took over southwestern Ontario grain handler and processor Thompsons Ltd. in 2013 in a joint venture with U.S. agrifood firm The Andersons. Lansing’s Chatham, Ont. grain merchandising desk is now part of the Thompsons business.

Lansing had also taken part in a short-lived joint venture in Prairie grain merchandising with Singapore’s Olam International. Olam sold its stake in the venture, Lansing Olam Canada, back to Lansing at the end of 2013. — AGCanada.com Network

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