Federated Co-op buying into ag retailer Blair’s

Central, southeastern Saskatchewan sites to go into new joint venture

The ag retail arm of the Saskatchewan-based Blair’s Family of Companies is set to go into a joint venture with one of Canada’s biggest co-operatives.

Blair’s and Federated Co-operatives (FCL) announced last week they’ve reached an agreement to set up a joint venture which, pending regulatory approvals, will own and operate the seven Blair’s ag retail outlets in central and southeastern Saskatchewan.

The seven locations, at Lanigan, Nokomis, Watrous, Liberty, McLean, Lipton and Rosthern, “will offer a broad range of crop input and animal nutrition products and services to continue to meet the business needs of local area farmers and ranchers.”

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The retail business includes Blair’s AgIntelligence ag consulting services, its proprietary PerforMax line of beef cattle nutrition products, and other feed products for the poultry, hog, sheep, horse and dairy sectors and companion animals.

Other Blair’s businesses, such as its Texcana Logistics fertilizer terminal near Hanley, Sask., and its farming operations including Blair’s Ag Cattle Co., will not be part of the joint venture with Saskatoon-based FCL, the companies said.

Blair’s management and staff will continue to lead the day-to-day operations of the ag retail business, the companies said Feb. 3 in a release.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t released, though the companies said the new venture will be subject to closing conditions including Competition Bureau approval and other clearances.

The bureau must be notified of transactions when the involved assets in Canada, or revenues from sales in or from Canada generated from those assets, are valued at $93 million minimum. That threshold for 2021 was announced Thursday and is expected to take effect Saturday.

“Blair’s is a trusted and well-respected local family business with history of serving farm customers and communities for generations, and whose values match our own,” Ron Healey, FCL’s vice-president for ag and consumer business, said in the companies’ release.

“The joint venture is an opportunity for FCL to expand our presence in central and southeastern Saskatchewan, which will ultimately benefit our local Co-op member-owners and the entire Co-operative Retailing System.”

“We believe the joint venture with FCL, which shares the same core values and long-term commitment to agriculture as us, will ensure that we continue demonstrating value to our customers, employees and communities in the future,” Blair’s chief operating officer Darren Blair said in the same release. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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