Alliance Grain Traders Inc. Announces U.S. Acquisition and Expansion


REGINA, Nov. 3, 2011 /CNW/ - Alliance Grain Traders Inc. ("AGT") is pleased to announce that it has acquired certain real property, storage and related handling equipment from C & F Foods, Inc., a California corporation, Real Partner Investments, LLC, a California limited liability company, and MCL Ag Investments Partnership, LLP ("MCL"), a North Dakota limited liability partnership. The acquired assets are located in Minot, North Dakota. AGT has committed CDN $12 million for the acquisition and build-out of the facility, with an estimated August 2012 completion. The facility will be operated by AGT's U.S. subsidiary, United Pulse Trading Inc. ("UPT").

The planned build-out will include the installation of pulse processing equipment for beans, chickpeas, peas and lentils to augment AGT's U.S. processing capacity at the Williston, North Dakota production facility.  The new facility will also add additional capacity for value-added pulses production of food ingredient pulses flours, proteins, starches and fibres. Pulses and grains processing and handling equipment were included in the purchase and are in "ready for installation" condition.  The site, originally constructed as a pulse processing facility, was never completed or commissioned by the previous owners.  It is expected that the new facility, once commissioned, will provide origination reach into central and eastern North Dakota, which is a region of substantial acreage of beans, peas and pulses. The site also provides transportation advantages for both export and domestic shipments with inbound containers being driven by inbound shipments of equipment for the oil and gas sector in North Dakota.

The site is located at Minot's Value-Added Agricultural Complex, which features North Dakota Port Services Inc. ("NDPS") as an anchor tenant. NDPS provides, through Burlington Northern Santa Fe ("BNSF") Logistics and BNSF's Northern Tier Intermodal line, container services to the complex through its facility adjacent to BNSF's main-line switch yard featuring daily service and four-lane highway access.

"We are excited about this acquisition. As with our other recent announcements, this facility is all about firming up our North American capacity and moving up the value chain with a focus on pulse ingredients and beans for the food sector. North Dakota growers are responding to market opportunities and are growing more pulses in the region. We expect the increase in pulse acres in the Northern Plains region to continue. This expansion into Minot brings our company a tremendous amount of opportunity not only due to the city's strategic location within a strong production area for pulse crops, but also because Minot is an important regional transportation hub.  The recent development of the container yard at the Port of North Dakota provides tremendous opportunity to efficiently distribute our products globally, with a focus on food ingredient and value-added pulses for the U.S. domestic market, as well as for European shipments. The fact that the building is already built, the storage is constructed and the equipment is ready for installation gives us a timing advantage and means it will be ready for the 2012 harvest season," said Mr. Murad Al-Katib, President and CEO of AGT.

"The continued increase in pulse production in the United States and consumption in North America certainly is in keeping with our long held view that there exists great potential for our business in non-traditional regions. North American and European food companies are interested in a larger scale, stable supply of pulse ingredients as they like their profile as non-genetically modified, gluten-free protein, fibre and starch. This acquisition we feel will further assist our company in capitalizing on this new area of business while giving us a U.S. plant for our dry edible bean platform," added Mr. Huseyin Arslan, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of AGT.

"Alliance Grain Traders, and its U.S. subsidiary United Pulse Trading, is a perfect fit for Minot and its Value-Added Ag Complex. The strategic advantage provided through the services of BNSF Railway and the infrastructure provided in the Ag Park area will provide United Pulse Trading a great opportunity to reach its customer base worldwide," commented Minot Mayor, Curt Zimbelman.

"These new initiatives by our company to add value to locally grown pulse crops through pulse crop milling and fractionation bring potential for exciting market opportunities for pulse crop producers in the Northern Plains region.  With this acquisition, together with the presence United Pulse Trading has in Williston and Minot, positions the company well to effectively carry out its mandate of taking value-added food products from 'Producer to the World.' It is truly exciting to expand our U.S. operations in North Dakota and specifically to the Minot area," stated Mr. Eric Bartsch, General Manager of United Pulse Trading.

About the Minot Value-Added Agricultural Complex
The Minot Value-Added Agricultural Complex encompasses approximately 800 acres with accessible rail, water, and sewer. The Port of North Dakota, Minot's intermodal transportation hub, transports westbound agricultural commodities on Burlington Northern Santa Fe's (BNSF) dedicated rail line.

About North Dakota Port Services Inc.
North Dakota Port Services, Inc. (NDPS) is a privately-owned, intermodal service company located in Minot, North Dakota, linking the world's marketplace to and from North Dakota and its neighbouring states and provinces. Located in the region's agricultural and energy sector, NDPS will serve all areas 250 miles or more around Minot — including eastern Montana, northern South Dakota, northwestern Minnesota, southern Manitoba, and southeastern Saskatchewan. NDPS is serviced by BNSF's Northern Tier Intermodal Line, and is adjacent to BNSF's main-line switch yard with daily service and 4-lane highway access. NDPS also has 140+ acres conducive to expansion and storage facilities.

Alliance Grain Traders Inc. Profile
Alliance Grain Traders Inc. (AGT) is a value-added pulse, staple food and ingredient processor for export and domestic markets. Through its offices and processing facilities located in some of the best agricultural growing regions in Canada, the U.S., Turkey, China, Australia and South Africa and merchandising and sales offices in the U.K., the Netherlands and Spain, AGT produces a full range of pulses and specialty crops including lentils, peas, chickpeas, beans and canary seed as well as food ingredients such as pulses flours, proteins, starches and fibres.  Through its subsidiaries in Turkey, the Arbel Group, AGT also produces staple foods such as Arbella Pasta, rice, and milled wheat products, including bulgur and semolina.

Cautionary Statements
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements. The reader is cautioned that assumptions used in the preparation of such information, although considered reasonable by AGT at the time of preparation, may prove to be incorrect. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of AGT (including its operating subsidiaries) to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the actual results of harvests, fluctuations in the price of lentils and other crops, failure of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated, accidents or labour disputes, risks relating to the integration of acquisitions or to international operations, as well as those factors referred to in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in the Annual Information Form of AGT dated March 28, 2011 which is available on SEDAR at, and which should be reviewed in conjunction with this document. Although AGT has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.  AGT expressly disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except in accordance with applicable securities laws.

SOURCE Alliance Grain Traders Inc.

For further information:

Investor Relations
Omer Al-Katib
(306) 244-1318

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Alliance Grain Traders Inc.

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