The Canadian arm of U.S. agrifood firm Cargill plans to buy its way further into the southern Alberta grain handling market, picking up an elevator from Canada’s biggest grain firm.
Winnipeg-based Cargill Ltd. on Tuesday announced a deal to buy the Viterra grain elevator at Carseland, about 50 km east of Calgary, for an undisclosed sum.
The deal is expected to be complete by Aug. 23, Cargill said in a release.
The sale is billed as a “significant investment” for Cargill, currently Canada’s third largest grain handler after Regina’s Viterra and Winnipeg’s Richardson International.
“It represents a significant improvement for many of our regional customers in terms of its accessible location,” Mike Morlock, the farm service group manager in southern Alberta for Cargill’s grain handling unit, Cargill AgHorizons.
The sale, he said, “will advance Cargill’s sustainable growth strategy to improve the services available to area crop farmers.”
The deal would give Cargill its seventh grain handling facility south of Red Deer, including sites at Calgary, Lethbridge, Beiseker, Blackie, Burdett and Equity.
Built in 1998 and served by Canadian Pacific Railway (CP), the Carseland elevator has a grain storage capacity of 35,300 tonnes and capability to load up to 112 railcars.
UGG, one of Viterra’s heritage grain companies, put up the facility as both its biggest by capacity and one of the larger primary elevators on the Prairies at that time.
Cargill won’t be alone at Carseland, where Richardson Pioneer now operates a 30,540-tonne capacity primary elevator, having nearly doubled its capacity through an expansion project in 2008.