C.W.B. to acquire grain-handling assets

by Eric Schroeder
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WINNIPEG — C.W.B., formerly known as the Canadian Wheat Board, has agreed to acquire the Mission Terminal, Les Élévateurs des Trois-Rivières and Services Maritimes Laviolette grain handling assets from Upper Lakes Group Inc. C.W.B. said the acquisition provides the advantages of an eastern port and positions it as the largest East coast shipper of producer cars from Western Canada.

Financial terms of the transaction, which is expected to close on Dec. 31, were not disclosed.

C.W.B. was dismantled in August 2012, and since that time has marketed wheat, durum, barley, canola and peas under the direction of the Canadian government. Under federal law, C.W.B. is to present a plan for privatization to the government by 2016. The acquisition of the assets from Upper Lakes Group is expected to provide the starting point for a network of strategic grain-handling assets for C.W.B.-marketed grain and is a critical step in C.W.B.’s strategy to transition toward an operating model independent of the government.

“The agri-business landscape is evolving quickly — and the purchase of these companies is a first step in building and securing C.W.B. a strong position in the grain marketing supply chain,” said Ian White, president and chief executive officer of C.W.B. “The flexible, efficient handling and transportation operations of Mission Terminal will let C.W.B. source grain directly from farmers and move it right on to the ships docked at the East coast.”

Headquartered in Winnipeg, Man., Mission Terminal sources and markets wheat, durum, barley, canola, rye, flax, peas, oats and industrial products for customers around the globe. The company operates handling facilities both in Western Canada and at Thunder Bay. Mission Terminal Thunder Bay, located at the mouth of the Mission river, has a licensed storage capacity of 136,500 tonnes and handles approximately 1.5 million tonnes annually. 

Les Élévateurs des Trois-Rivières is located in Trois-Rivières, Que., and is a receiving, storage and loading facility with a storage capacity of 110,000 tonnes of grain. It can receive grain by ocean ship, rail or truck 

Services Maritimes Laviolette is also located in Trois-Rivières, and offers stevedoring and related services.

“C.W.B. has strong long-term relationships and has worked closely with each of the companies we are acquiring,” Mr. White said. “We have always respected their solid reputation among prairie farmers, and we will continue to value all of the companies doing business with them in the country and at port. We share very similar corporate cultures, both placing a high value on the contribution that farmers bring to our respective companies.”
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