Federated Co-operatives Limited, on behalf of the Co-operative Retailing System (CRS), has entered into an agreement to purchase 17 fertilizer, seed and agriculture chemical supply centers from Viterra Inc. Pending completion of customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to close by the end of September.

Included in the deal are eight sites in Saskatchewan (Canwood, Cupar, Leoville, Lloydminster, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Strasbourg, White Star), eight in Alberta (Barons, Claresholm, Crossfield, Grimshaw, High River, Manning, Stettler, Viking) and one in Manitoba (Roblin).

“This agreement enhances our federation’s agri-business presence across the Prairies,” says FCL’s Ron Healey, Associate Vice President, Ag and Home Products. “We are pleased to be acquiring these assets and look forward to acquainting new employees and customers with the CRS and the benefits it has to offer.”

The purchase is a two-step transaction for FCL: first, to acquire the 17 sites from Viterra; and, second, to transfer ownership and operations to local retail Co-ops. FCL and local retail Co-ops are working together to finalize details of the ownership transfer and will announce details once the deal with Viterra is closed in September.

The employees at the 17 centers will be offered similar terms and conditions of employment within the CRS.

Once the sale is finalized, new customers will be contacted about the changes and informed about the benefits of buying their products from Co-op. They will be welcomed and encouraged to take out a Co-op membership, which gives them access to quality products and service at fair prices, an equity account and the opportunity for cash back on their overall purchases.

Retail Co-ops currently operate more than 140 ag centres in Western Canada.