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Published June 24, 2014, 01:46 PM

CWB adds to network

CWB, formerly known as the Canadian Wheat Board, plans to buy Great Sandhills Terminal near Leader, Saskatchewan. The proposed $17.4 million acquisition includes GST’s grain-handling facility near Leader, as well as a majority stake in Great Sandhills Railway, a short-line railroad that operates 197 kilometers of track between Swift Current and Burstall, Saskatchewan.

By: Jonathan Knutson, Agweek

CWB, formerly known as the Canadian Wheat Board, plans to buy Great Sandhills Terminal near Leader, Saskatchewan.

The proposed $17.4 million acquisition includes GST’s grain-handling facility near Leader, as well as a majority stake in Great Sandhills Railway, a short-line railroad that operates 197 kilometers of track between Swift Current and Burstall, Saskatchewan.

"CWB and Great Sandhills Terminal have worked very well together for many years providing farmers with valuable marketing options," CWB president and CEO Ian White says in a news release.

"We look forward to providing an even stronger value proposition to farmers as a single company. This purchase strengthens CWB's growing network of assets across Western Canada and provides the opportunity for an ongoing farmer ownership stake in GST through our farmer equity plan,” White says.

GST shareholders will be mailed details of the proposal. The company says the proposal will be put to a vote at a meeting expected to be held in August.

The proposed sale “brings together the strong reputations of both companies under one roof," says Wayne Hittel, chairman of Great Sandhills Terminal, in a prepared statement.

“CWB's prized international brand and GST's service excellence are just two of the reasons this acquisition is a win-win for all stakeholders — CWB, GST shareholders, our local community, and all of our farmer-customers that deliver grain to GST now and in the future,” he says.

CWB says the agreement with Great Sandhills Terminal complements its recent acquisition of Prairie West Terminal.

Prairie West Terminal’s head office is located between Dodsland and Plenty in Saskatchewan. It operates grain handling facilities in Plenty, Dodsland, Luseland and Kindersley.

CWB previously announced plans to build two “state-of-the-art” elevators, as well.

CWB markets crops such as wheat, durum, barley, canola and peas to customers around the world. The organization, which lost its marketing monopoly on Canadian wheat and barley in August 2012, has been relying on grain-handling facilities owned by rivals.

CWB has said it’s building its own network of assets to handle grain.