• Lynda Kiernan

Canada’s Richardson International to Invest Up to US$1.67 Billion on U.S. Acquisitions

Richardson International, one of Canada’s leading and largest grain handlers, announced it is looking to expand in the U.S. through acquisitions at a cost of between C$100 million (US$81.9 million) and C$2 billion (US$1.67 billion). The company is mainly interested in assets in grain handling, processing, and crop inputs in wheat growing areas and has stated that once it reaches a critical mass, it may consider building additional assets.

Richardson is the largest division of James Richardson & Sons Ltd., and controls a share of Western Canada’ grain handling on par with Glencore’s Viterra Inc. The company currently owns two mills in the U.S., but chief executive, Curt Vossen expressed in an interview with Reuters, interest in acquiring The Andersons Inc., the Bartlett or Scoular companies, or U.S.-based co-operatives.

The United States “is the logical growth direction,” says Vossen, “We don’t have to be the largest, but we have to be meaningful. There’s no point in acquiring small businesses if they don’t move the EBITDA needle for the organization in an effective way.”

There have been no reported discussions with potential target companies at this point, but if any are willing to sell, Richardson must be prepared for a bidding war with other North American and Asian rivals. Washington state-based Legumex Walker Inc. has said it is open for takeover but Vossen has stated that Richardson is not interested in Legumex’ canola crushing plant and is still undecided regarding its special crop assets.

Richardson’s last sizeable deal was its purchase of select Viterra assets for C$900 million when that company was bought by Glencore in 2012. Currently, Richardson is working to close one acquisition in Western Canada and a second in Eastern Canada but has not disclosed any details regarding the deals.

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Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at lkiernan@highquestgroup.com.

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