SYMBOL: TSX: AGT
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
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
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.
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 www.sedar.com, 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.
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