MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, US — Ceres Global Ag Corp. announced on March 15 that its wholly owned subsidiary, Riverland Ag Corp., has entered into a letter of intent to acquire Columbia Grain International’s 50% membership interest in Berthold Farmers Elevator, LLC (BFE). Headquartered in Berthold, North Dakota, US, BFE is a grain originator and merchandiser with locations in Berthold and Carpio, North Dakota, US.
Although financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed, Ceres said Riverland will pay cash for the investment, coming from working capital and available debt capacity. The other 50% membership interest in BFE is owned by Berthold Farmers Elevator Co., a farmer cooperative also based in Berthold.
“Becoming a joint venture owner with Berthold Farmers Elevator Co. advances our strategy to partner with growers and increase origination of our core products,” said Robert Day, president and chief executive officer at Ceres. “We look forward to connecting the hundreds of growers who make up the co-op in Berthold with Ceres and Riverland’s customers and collaborating with all parties to bring solutions, starting from the farmgate and ending with consumers in the US and internationally.”
Aaron Haaland, a member of BFE’s board, added, “Adding Riverland as a joint venture partner in Berthold Farmers Elevator, LLC opens new and meaningful possibilities for our growers. With Riverland and Ceres’s expertise in managing railroad programs and providing destination market access, Berthold Farmers Elevator Co. will be well positioned to serve the needs of its growers and patrons for decades to come.”
Ceres Global, together with its affiliated companies, operates 13 locations across Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Minnesota. These facilities have an aggregate grain and oilseed storage capacity of approximately 32 million bushels.
Ceres Global has a 50% interest in Savage Riverport, LLC (a joint venture with Consolidated Grain and Barge Co.), a 50% interest in Farmers Grain, LLC (a joint venture with Farmer’s Cooperative Grain and Seed Association), a 50% in Gateway Energy Terminal (an unincorporated joint venture with Steel Reef Infrastructure Corp.), a 25% interest in Stewart Southern Railway Inc. (a short-line railway located in southeast Saskatchewan with a range of 130 kilometers), and a 17% interest in Canterra Seed Holdings Ltd. (a Canada-based seed development company).
Established in 2002, BFE provides grain merchandising and storage services to more than 300 BFEC patrons and other growers across a four-county area.