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FCL- Blair’s Joint Venture Receives Regulatory Approval

SASKATOON (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.
 
About Federated Co-operatives Limited and the Co-operative Retailing System
Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL), based in Saskatoon, is focused on providing more than 160 local Co-ops across Western Canada with strategy and leadership, wholesaling, manufacturing, logistics, operational support, business-enabling services and marketing support. Together FCL and those local co-operatives form the Co-operative Retailing System (CRS). The CRS serves our members and communities with products and services that help build, feed and fuel individuals and communities from Vancouver Island to northwestern Ontario. Our total workforce of 24,000 employees serve 1.9 million active individual members and many more non-member customers at 1,500 retail locations in more than 620 communities. We are a different kind of business – we are locally invested, community-minded and offer lifetime membership benefits including patronage refunds, quality products, quality service and fair prices. More information is available at www.fcl.crs and www.co-op.crs

About Blair’s Family of Companies
Blair’s Family of Companies began near Drake, Saskatchewan in 1948, when founders, Sandy and Lindsay Blair, brought the first rail car of fertilizer into Saskatchewan. For over 73 years, Blair’s has remained committed to providing leading edge agriculture solutions to its customers and to investing in our local communities.  Blair’s dedicated and knowledgeable team of professionals are passionate about the business of agriculture and ensuring our customers’ success. Blair’s seven ag retails are located in the communities of Lanigan, Nokomis, Watrous, Liberty, McLean, Lipton and Rosthern. For more information, visit www.blairs.ag.
 
For more information:
Cam Zimmer
Director of Communications and Public Relations
Federated Co-operatives Limited
(306) 244-1614
cam.zimmer@fcl.crs
 
Kevin Blair
Chief Executive Officer
Blair’s Family of Companies
Phone: (306) 365-7922
Email: kevin@blairs.ag

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