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Alliance Grain Climbs After Signing Deal With Cargill

Alliance Grain Traders Inc., a Canadian seller of specialty crops such as lentils, rose the most in more than eight months after appointing Cargill Inc. to market a line of animal-feed ingredients.

Alliance rose 10 percent C$14.11 at the close in Toronto, the most since April 25. The Regina, Saskatchewan-based company’s shares fell 30 percent in the past 12 months.

Alliance signed up Minneapolis-based Cargill to be the exclusive agent for five years for its pulse-based products used to make animal feed, including pet foods, the company said today in a statement. Alliance, which is expanding its existing feed-ingredients business, plans to make the products in Minot, North Dakota.

The Cargill agreement “validates and adds credibility to Alliance’s business strategy,” said John Chu, a Toronto-based analyst at Alta Corp. Capital Inc. who rates Alliance outperform, the equivalent of a buy rating, with a C$16 12-month price target. “It also provides an incredibly strong partner in distribution, sales and marketing,” he said today by telephone.

Initially confined to North America, the tieup has the potential to be extended to Cargill’s operations in Asia, Europe and Latin America, he said.

“People realize there’s also the possibility of expansion into food ingredients, which could be considerably bigger than animal feed,” Chu said.

Forbes ranked Cargill the largest closely held U.S. company by revenue in a 2012 survey.

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