FCL-Blair’s joint venture receives regulatory approval
July 7, 2021
The joint venture between Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) and Blair’s Family of Companies (Blair’s) has received regulatory approval to move forward. The Competition Bureau will not challenge the joint venture, first announced in February, provided that certain actions are taken pursuant to a consent agreement filed with the Competition Tribunal.
The joint venture will acquire seven Saskatchewan ag retail locations, providing crop input, and animal-nutrition products, as well as agronomic services to farm customers near Lanigan, Liberty, Lipton, McLean, Nokomis, Rosthern and Watrous. As a condition of regulatory approval and in accordance with the consent agreement – in which both parties agree to implement actions to address the potential effects of a proposed transaction – the joint venture will sell its interest in the Lipton location and anhydrous ammonia assets in Lipton and Balcarres after closing.
“Both Co-op and Blair’s have such deep roots in our communities and we are very excited with the opportunity to continue serving our valued farm customers through this new joint venture partnership in the years ahead,” said Ron Healey, FCL’s Vice-President of Ag and Consumer Business. “Blair’s farm customers will still work with the same experienced and knowledgeable teams they have trusted for years and will now have access to industry-leading services and a broad portfolio, including high-quality products exclusively manufactured or distributed by Co-op.”
Blair’s staff will continue to manage the day-to-day operations of the retail locations under the Blair’s banner. The Blair’s management team will report to the joint venture’s board of directors. While the sale process takes place, the Lipton location will be operated independently of the joint venture by certain members of the Blair’s management team. Eight Capital acted as financial advisors to Blair’s in connection with the joint venture and will act as financial advisor to the joint venture for the sale of the Lipton location.
“For over 73 years, our business has been committed to providing innovative solutions to advance the business of our farm customers. We are excited to be working with FCL as part of the new joint venture as they share our core values and commitment to our customers, employees and communities,” stated Kevin Blair, CEO, Blair’s Family of Companies.
With this regulatory approval, the joint venture will begin operations effective July 31, 2021.