United Suppliers, Land O’Lakes members OK merger

The owners of United Suppliers and members of Land O’Lakes have overwhelmingly approved the merger of United Suppliers with Land O’Lakes’ crop input business, the businesses said Monday.

Arden Hills, Minn.-based Land O’ Lakes is one of the nation’s largest member-owned cooperatives, with more than $15 billion in sales last year. Ames-based United Suppliers is a customer-owned wholesale supplier of crop protection, seed and crop nutrients.

The companies said the first step of the merger will be to combine the two companies’ seed and crop protection businesses under Winfield US, and the second step will merge the crop nutrient business.

The merger is expected to close in October.

Fitch reported in June the combined company would have “increased scale and the ability to provide customers with expanded product offerings, including enhanced agricultural services and technologies.

“These benefits are important in an industry that has seen rapid consolidation of suppliers, retailers and growers,” said Fitch, a credit-rating company.

Fitch said it sees the merger as “moderately beneficial” to Land O’ Lakes’ earnings.

Last year, Land O’ Lakes’ WinField division generated $4.9 billion in seed and crop protection product sales, and United generated $2.6 billion in crop protection, seed and crop nutrient sales.

“Both organizations exist to increase our customers’ capabilities and competitiveness. By coming together, we are true to our shared purpose, and we also preserve our different approaches to best serve a wide variety of customer needs,” said Brad Oelmann, United Suppliers’ CEO, in a statement.

 

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