Cargill to sell ag-retail business in the US to Canada's Agrium

US agribusiness Cargill Inc yesterday struck a deal to sell its ag-retail business in the US to Canada's Agrium Inc.

The two companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, but Cargill said that its ag-retail businesses have annual revenues of over $150 million.

The sale comes just a month after Cargill struck a deal to buy Five Star Custom Foods, Ltd, a company specialising in cooked protein products, soups and sauces for restaurants and food processors. (See: Cargill to buy Five Star Custom Foods)

Calgary-based Agrium, will buy 18 ag-retail locations in Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana. The transaction does not include Cargill's Canadian crop input business,

''This acquisition demonstrates our continued focus on growing our North American ag-retail business, particularly in the highly desirable U.S. Corn Belt. The locations are in regions where we currently have a limited presence. This acquisition will allow us to capitalise on synergies related to the introduction of our proprietary products and services, and leveraging our extensive distribution network,'' said, Agrium's president and CEO, Chuck Magro.

Roger Watchorn, group leader of Cargill's North American agricultural supply chain, said: ''Cargill will focus on being the world's leading merchant of grain and oilseeds. We remain steadfast in our commitment to help farmers succeed by ensuring they remain competitive in the global market and being as efficient as possible in getting products from origins to destinations.''

Agrium Inc. is a major producer and distributor of agricultural products and services in North America, South America, Australia and Egypt.

Agrium produces nitrogen, potash and phosphate fertilisers, with a combined wholesale nutrient capacity of over nine million tonnes and sells it through its retail-distribution network of over 1,400 facilities.