Riverbend Co-op Set to Buy GDT From Viterra

Pending deal will see three locations sold

A number of deals expected to be finalized next month will see Riverbend Co-operative Ltd. seriously expand their growth and networking capabilities in the provincial ag market.

Gardiner Dam Terminal Ltd. (GDT), with headquarters based at Strongfield, has entered into an agreement to sell 50% interest along with its subsidiary, GDT AgServices, to Viterra for an estimated purchase price of between $27.8 to $30.2 million.

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Should the deal be approved, Viterra has informed GDT that it will sell all crop production assets owned by GDT AgServices to the Riverbend Co-operative Ltd.

Those assets include the three GDT AgServices facilities located in Strongfield, Tullis and Broderick.

gdt strongfield
The GDT facility/headquarters near Strongfield. - Derek Ruttle

For Riverbend, it’s a chance to make a serious mark in the ag sector while attaining a business with a highly-regarded reputation among producers in the province.

“This is an exciting opportunity for our Co-op to significantly increase our presence in the ag sector in central Saskatchewan,” said Riverbend GM Greg Sarvis in a press release.  “We’re looking forward to welcoming new employees to our team and working closely with customers to show them the benefits we can offer.  GDT AgServices is a thriving business with an excellent reputation.  We want to continue those relationships as well as add new members, who will be able to take advantage of our Co-op’s lifetime membership benefits.”

Gardiner Dam Terminal’s 23,727 outstanding shares are held by close to 230 shareholders, and after adjustments, settlement of outstanding GDT liabilities and costs associated with closing the deal, shareholders may be able to expect to receive $1175 to $1275 per share.

GDT’s Chief Executive Officer Shawn Graham said the board of directors started exploring opportunities to sell the company after shareholder engagement sessions were held back in the fall of 2017.

GDT currently employs 24 people at its terminal and ag retail outlets.  All of them, with the exception of two who are managers, are expected to receive offers of employment from Viterra or Riverbend, should the deal go ahead.

“The Board has been working diligently over the past year to allow our shareholders a way to capture the value created by 18 years of success and prosperity,” said Ron Bartel, Chairman of the Board for GDT.  “The Board is pleased that Viterra is offering this new opportunity for not only our shareholders and present employees but area farmers as well. The Board feels Viterra and Riverbend Co-operative Ltd. will be a highly competitive and progressive presence for our farmers, employees and the community and will ensure the long-term future of grain handling and crop inputs services in the area.”

The completion of the sale is conditional upon approval by the shareholders, which will be sought at a meeting to be held on December 13.

From there, the purchase of the three GDT locations by Riverbend are expected to be finalized on December 19 if all conditions are met.  These new locations would add to the services that the Co-op provides, which include bulk petroleum, farm equipment from locations in Outlook, Beechy, Davidson and Wiseton, and six cardlock fuel locations in the regional area.

© The Outlook

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