CWB to Establish Grain-Handling Network in Western Canada

CWB, formerly the Canadian Wheat Board, is planning to establish a grain-handling network in Western Canada, according to Gord Flaten, vice-president of grain procurement.

CWB may use its earnings, access to debt capital and other investors to finance the purchase of assets, Flaten said. The company is speaking with a number of interested investors and did not disclose how much it needs to raise, or the structure of the new initiative, he said.

“The size of it and the exact make-up of it is something we will announce later,” Flaten said in a telephone interview from Winnipeg.

The federal government ended the Canadian Wheat Board’s marketing monopoly on wheat and barley Aug. 1, 2012, and gave the CWB a deadline of 2017 to privatize or dissolve. The CWB has until Aug. 1, 2016, to submit a commercialization plan to the government.

The CWB is offering farmers a stake in the privatized company, it said on its website. The plan is subject to CWB’s intention to privatize and there is no guarantee producers will receive the required approvals to participate in an equity interest.

“The exact structure of the privatized CWB is going to depend in part on what investors would like to see and the plan would have to be approved by the federal government and regulators,” Flaten said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jen Skerritt in Winnipeg at jskerritt1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net

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