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CWB acquires Prairie West Terminal

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The CWB (formerly Canadian Wheat Board) is charging ahead with its plan to have assets and business in place to be self-sufficient by August 2017 by acquiring a Saskatchewan elevator company.

CWB has agreed to pay $43.2 million for Prairie West Terminal Ltd., a west-central Saskatchewan company with four elevators and 78,000 tonnes of storage capacity.

The deal requires approval of PWT’s shareholders. The company is widely held, mostly by Saskatchewan farmers.

The deal is expected to close by mid-June.

The CWB already owns about 12 per cent of PWT after it acquired a block of shares in January that had been held by a private equity firm.

PWT’s board of directors has endorsed the deal.

This acquisition comes close on the heals of news that CWB is building two new elevators, one near Portage la Prairie, the other near Saskatoon.

After federal legislation was passed in 2012 ending the wheat board’s monopoly on the marketing of Prairie grain, it was given a five year window — along with a $349 million cushion to deal with liabilities and obligations — to become economically self-sufficient.

CWB officials say the Winnipeg institution is well on its way to that goal and intends to get there quicker than its mandated deadline.

The CWB intends to finance this acquisition through retained earnings and traditional bank financing.

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