Land O'Lakes and CHS to reposition Agriliance j.v.

by Eric Schroeder
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INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, MINN. —Land O’Lakes, Inc. and CHS Inc. announced plans to reposition two business segments of their Agriliance agronomy joint venture. Financial terms of the transaction, expected to be completed in September, were not disclosed.

As part of the repositioning, CHS said it will acquire the crop nutrients wholesale distribution business, while Land O’Lakes will acquire the crop protection products business. Land O’Lakes said it intends to align the crop protection products business with its Land O’Lakes Seed division.

"This repositioning is consistent with our objective of maintaining the most effective farmer-owned presence possible in the crop inputs industry," said Chris Policinski, president and chief executive officer of Land O’Lakes, and John Johnson, president and c.e.o. of CHS. "By aligning each business segment with the core competencies and strengths of each parent company, we can intensify our focus in each of these key businesses, reduce costs and even more effectively supply valuable crop inputs to members and customers."

Agriliance, which was formed in February 2000 as a 50-50 joint venture to distribute and market crop nutrients, crop protection products, seed and related technical services, will continue as a Land O’Lakes/CHS j.v. and operate its existing retail agronomy business.

The Agriliance crop nutrients business, which will be owned by CHS, provides local retailers and producers with primary crop nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Its supply network includes a deep-water port at Galveston, Texas, facilities at Memphis, Tenn., and strategically located crop nutrients terminals.

Under CHS ownership, the crop nutrients business will benefit from the company’s capabilities in logistics, distribution, risk management, and global trading, the companies said.

The Agriliance crop protection products operation, being acquired by Land O’Lakes, includes the AgriSolutions line of more than 200 adjuvants, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, defoliants and seed and grain protectants. These products are manufactured at plants in Hampton, Iowa; St. Joseph, Mo.; and Blytheville, Ark. The crop protection products operation also includes an extensive technology and education system.

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