REGINA — Alliance Grain Traders Inc. (TSX:AGT) says it has reached an agreement to acquire Australia-based Balco Grain for approximately $10 million.
The Regina-based processor of pulse crops — including lentils, peas, chickpeas and beans — said Monday the acquisition price includes property from Balco Holdings, storage for pulses and grains, handling equipment and planned expansions and improvements.
The Balco facility is adjacent to South Australia’s first inland container terminal, which ships approximately 2,000 containers a month and is about 100 kilometres from Adelaide.
“This is another strategic ‘tuck-in’ acquisition that will allow us to be operational for what currently appears to be a promising new crop in Australia harvesting late in 2010,” stated Murad Al-Katib, president and CEO of Alliance Grain.
“This further investment in Australia bolsters our lentil, chickpea and faba bean platforms, allowing us to establish a significant foothold in South Australia,” added executive chairman Huseyin Arslan.
The transaction is scheduled to close by the end of September.
Australia is becoming an increasingly popular target for Canadian companies looking to expand, both in the agriculture industry and other sectors.
Earlier this month, fertilizer and farm input giant Agrium Inc. (TSX:AGU) announced a $1.16-billion bid for Australia’s AWB Ltd., a grain marketer.
And last year Canada’s biggest grain handler, Viterra Inc. (TSX:VT), bought ABB Grain for $1.4 billion. Alliance Grain has processing facilities in Canada, the U.S., Turkey and Australia.