Having been stripped of its monopoly powers as a wheat and barley marketer in Western Canada on Aug. 1, 2012, the former Canadian Wheat Board (CWB) is now readying itself for privatization in 2016, a government-imposed move that will cut off government funding and make the board responsible to investors. The board is preparing for this eventuality by investing in grain handling capacity and establishing a Dividend Reinvestment Plan
Ian White, president of CWB, told World Grain the Dividend Reinvestment Plan has been put in place because the agency wants grain farmers to own shares.
“We’ve set aside a portion of their current retained earnings and basically earmarked that for future ownership by farmers, and we’ve indicated to farmers that from this season on we’ll be keeping track of their grain deliveries and they will count as patronage for equity distribution once we privatize,” he said.
Whether or not U.S. investors could purchase shares in the CWB has not been determined yet, White said. “We are looking at some classes of investors, but at this stage it’s a bit too early for me to say much about that.”
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