CHS, Dakota Plains considering merger

by Eric Schroeder
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ST. PAUL, MINN. — CHS Inc., an energy, grains and foods company, and Dakota Plains Cooperative, a full-service agribusiness headquartered in Valley City, N.D., are considering merging and have sought approval from the members of Dakota Plains Cooperative and the CHS board of directors.

The companies said they believe a merger may enhance agronomy assets in the east central area of North Dakota, and plans under discussion include constructing three new fertilizer plants within the Dakota Plains trade area to take advantage of the proposed fertilizer manufacturing facility in Spiritwood, N.D., currently under review by CHS.

“Dakota Plains is excited to have the opportunity to partner with CHS,” said Greg Svenningson, president of Dakota Plains Cooperative. “They have worked well with us in the past and we look forward to taking our relationship to the next level. This merger will allow Dakota Plains to more fully align and partner our growers with the nation’s largest cooperative.”

John McEnroe, executive vice-president of CHS Country Operations, added that both organizations are looking for growth and expansion opportunities while at the same time protecting member equity.

“We are always interested in investments that align with the CHS commitment to helping our farmer-owners grow their businesses,” Mr. McEnroe said.

Dakota Plains Cooperative offers farmers and ranchers a full line of agronomy, seed, feed and energy services and products from 15 locations in central and southeast North Dakota.

CHS Inc. supplies energy, crop nutrients, grain marketing services, livestock feed, food and food ingredients, along with business solutions including insurance, financial and risk management services. CHS earlier this year reached agreement with ConAgra Foods, Inc. and Cargill on a transaction that would be the largest merger in flour milling history, combining the groups’ North American flour milling businesses to form a new company to be named Ardent Mills. The combined company will operate 44 flour mills, three bakery mix facilities and a specialty bakery, in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Total daily wheat and durum flour capacity for the combined company will be 576,100 cwts. The transaction is still pending regulatory approval.

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