Grain Company to Buy Canadian Crop Terminal

Posted by Eric Haun
Monday, June 23, 2014

Canadian grain marketer CWB said on Monday it has agreed to buy Great Sandhills Terminal Ltd, a farmer-owned 20,000-tonne grain handling facility in Leader, Saskatchewan, for $16.3 million.

The deal, subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals, is expected to close by Sept. 1. It also includes a majority stake in a short-line railway in Saskatchewan.

CWB did not release further financial details.

CWB, which was previously known as the Canadian Wheat Board, has made several deals to piece together a grain-handling network in the past year as it moves toward operating outside of government control. Ottawa stripped the board of its western wheat and barley marketing monopoly in 2012 and agreed to guarantee CWB's borrowings until it is sold or develops a plan to be self-sustaining by 2016.

CWB this year also bought Prairie West Terminal Ltd, which includes five grain-handling facilities in Saskatchewan, and started building grain elevators near Colonsay, Saskatchewan, and Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.

Last year, CWB bought Mission Terminal Inc from Upper Lakes Group, giving it grain storage at Port of Thunder Bay, Ontario.

CWB's moves came as the country's grain handlers and railways struggled during the winter to move a record harvest to port, causing a massive backlog. Larger grain handlers Viterra, owned by Glencore Xstrata PLC, Cargill Ltd and Richardson International are also upgrading their Western Canadian crop-handling networks.

($1=$1.07 Canadian)

(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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