Bunge and Saudis take Leadership in Wheat Board
The Canadian grain handling landscape just got more interesting. With the acquisition of a majority ownership of the Canadian Wheat Board, Bunge Canada and the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC) are providing more options and important equity into the handling system. It is interesting times.
From the press release:
G3 Global Grain Group invests in CWB
G3 Global Grain Group (G3), a newly established agribusiness joint venture based in Canada, has been named the successful investor in CWB. The investment of C$250 million (subject to certain closing conditions and adjustments) will result in G3 acquiring a majority ownership interest of 50.1% in CWB, with the minority ownership interest to be held in trust for the benefit of farmers. The transaction is expected to close in July 2015.
G3 is a joint venture between Bunge Canada, a subsidiary of Bunge Limited (NYSE: BG) and SALIC Canada Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC). The new Canadian company will be headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba. CWB is a grain handling and trading company that operates a network of seven grain elevators in Western Canada and port terminals in Thunder Bay, Ontario and Trois Rivieres, Quebec. CWB is building four additional state-of-the-art grain handling facilities in Bloom and St. Adolphe, Manitoba, and Colonsay and Pasqua, Saskatchewan. Bunge's export terminal in Quebec City as well as four elevators in Quebec will be part of the transaction.
"It is a dynamic time for Canadian agriculture. As global demand for agri-products grows, consumers continue to demand the high quality grain produced by our Canadian farmers," says Karl Gerrand, CEO, G3. "Our vision is to establish a highly efficient coast-to-coast Canadian grain enterprise that provides stronger market access solutions for growers and delivers value to our stakeholders and the Canadian agriculture industry as a whole. We welcome the CWB team and farmer equity owners, and look forward to working together to build a new and dynamic company."
"Bunge's relationship with Canadian farmers extends nearly 50 years through our grain operations in Eastern Canadaand our oilseed processing facilities throughout the country," said Todd Bastean, CEO, Bunge North America. "The investment in G3 and CWB complements our existing Canadian footprint and strengthens our origination and export capabilities in one of the world's premier growing regions."
"Canada is poised to play an increasing role in providing food to a growing world population and in capturing a larger share of the international market demand," says Abdullah Al-Rubaian, Chairman, SALIC. "SALIC is committed to infrastructure investment in countries such as Canada, which are exporters of surplus supplies of high quality grain. The launch of G3 will enable us to invest in infrastructure across Canada, providing more market choices for Canadian producers. We are committed to G3's growth strategy and are excited to work with Bunge, CWB, and the Canadian farming community."
"G3 considerably strengthens SALIC's position as a global agribusiness investor," says Abdullah Aldubaikhi, CEO, SALIC. "The CWB opportunity offers an excellent strategic fit with SALIC's global agribusiness investment plans, and we are extremely happy and proud that G3 has been chosen as the strategic investor in CWB."
"CWB is pleased to complete the initiative to commercialize CWB and are excited at the prospect of G3 as our strategic investor. G3 brings substantial financial strength and extensive operational experience to execute on this growth strategy, and we are pleased that the farmers will be able to continue to participate in the commercialized CWB," says Ian White, CEO, CWB.