CHS Buys 50 Percent Stake In Australian Grain Co.
CHS, Inc., a farmer-owned agriculture business, announced Sunday that it has purchased a 50 percent stake in Agfarm, an Australian grain-marketing company.
The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
CHS shares its ownership of Agfarm with Ruralco Holdings, Ltd., an Australian company that provides agriculture products (including fertilizer, seed, and livestock) and services (including risk management and insurance). Ruralco originally acquired a 51 percent equity interest in Agfarm in 2009.
CHS said that owning half of Agfarm will aid its grain-marketing strategy as well as increase its influence in global agriculture markets.
“CHS is committed to investing for the long term in the Australian market, so that Agfarm growers benefit from even stronger connections to the growing, global demand for high-quality grains and oilseeds,” CHS Senior Vice President Rick Browne said in a statement.
Headquartered in Inver Grove Heights, CHS is a Fortune 100 company that supplies energy, crop nutrients, grain marketing services, insurance, and financial and risk management services to farmers. It employs approximately 10,000, 2,837 of whom work in Minnesota. CHS reported $40.6 billion in revenue for the fiscal year that ended last August—a 10 percent increase over its prior fiscal year.
Based in Wagga, Australia, Agfarm works with farmers to develop grain-marketing plans and sales strategies. It previously operated as a subsidiary of Ruralco, which reported $1.1 million in revenue for the fiscal year that ended September 30—a 13 percent increase over 2011. A CHS spokeswoman told Twin Cities Business that Agfarm’s name will not change. Additionally, all 38 of Agfarm’s employees will continue to work out of its existing eight offices in Australia.
In March, CHS and Wayzata-based Cargill, Inc., joined forces with Omaha, Nebraska-based ConAgra Foods, Inc., for a new multibillion-dollar joint venture called Ardent Mills. Earlier in July, the three companies announced Ardent Hills’ headquarters will be based in Denver, despite Cargill’s and CHS’ large presence in Minnesota.