Two Hoosier agricultural cooperatives are forming a joint venture in an effort to acquire an agricultural retail business in Michigan. Ceres Solutions in Crawfordsville and Co-Alliance LLP in Avon say the effort will “demonstrate the continued importance of the cooperative model serving local farmers.”

The Michigan business is currently owned by Minnesota-based agribusiness and cooperative CHS Inc. 

“This strategic joint venture with Ceres Solutions combined with the potential purchase of extensive retail assets will add capabilities and scale to extend reach and drive growth for both cooperatives and our respective owners,” added Kevin Still, chief executive officer of Co-Alliance.

All parties involved with the acquisition say negotiations are continuing with due diligence over the next few weeks. CHS Executive Vice President Rick Dusek says the parties will also negotiate a wholesale supply agreement.

“Consistent with the CHS purpose of creating connections to empower agriculture, the proposed transaction would ex­pand the operations of these two leading cooperatives, ensure farmers have continued access to cooperative products and services, and allow CHS to reinvest in retail operations more closely aligned with its core business supply chain,” said Dusek.

The parties expect to obtain the necessary board approvals and complete the acquisition later this year.

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