Alltech grows Canadian feed footprint

Alltech has consolidated its presence in the North American compound feed sector through its latest acquisition, the 14th in recent years. The Kentucky-based multinational has acquired 100% of the equity in Canadian feed manufacturer Masterfeeds, subject to regulatory approvals. Financial details are not available.

Masterfeeds can trace its roots back to the creation of Toronto Feed Elevators in 1928, since when it has been a major consolidator of feed businesses across Western Canada and the prairie states. It was previously owned by co-operative Ag Processing, which bought the business in partnership with ADM in 1991, before buying out its partner ten years later. Under Alltech’s ownership, it is now the country’s second biggest feed company behind Viterra – part of Glencore since 2012.

Masterfeeds has 18 feed mills and distributes feed direct to farm and through a network of agents. The company includes 2 analytical businesses – Dairyland Laboratories, located in Wisconsin in the US, and Stratford Agri-Analysis in Canada - as well as a retail operation.

Alltech’s first acquisition in Canada was EMF in 2013. Earlier this year it bought Ridley, the Toronto-listed but US-based feed business that had formed a joint venture with Masterfeeds in 2012 using its Feedrite brand and assets in Canada. After completing the Ridley deal, Alltech estimated its annual revenues at $1.6 billion. With Masterfeeds in the portfolio, this figure rises to $2.1bn.

The combined Canadian business will have 25 feed mills and pre-mix plants, seven distribution centres, nine retail locations and 700 employees.  It will continue to operate from its headquarters at London, Ontario under president and chief executive Rob Flack. The Alltech Canada business will also stay at its current headquarters in Guelph in the same state.

“This deal underscores our continued momentum in growing our business through strategic acquisitions of best-in-class companies with trusted technology and brand recognition,” notes Steve Bourne, vice president of Alltech.

Mr Flack adds:  “Alltech’s investment strategy is unfolding in exciting ways.  Alltech’s primacy in science, supported by an extensive research and development programme, is both cutting-edge and relevant. Masterfeeds’ proven on-farm feeding solutions will be strengthened through proprietary Alltech nutrition technology, adding further value to our customers throughout Canada.”

“This is a crucial time in agriculture, and Canadian farmers are facing ever-increasing pressures, including the continued drive to produce more with fewer resources,” explains Dr Pearse Lyons, founder and president of Alltech. “Masterfeeds provides the on-farm support that is critical to Canada’s farmers and ranchers. This new opportunity will enable more efficient delivery of superior animal nutrition and tailored feeding programmes, supported by robust scientific research.”