Legumex buys bean, sunflower companies

Legumex Walker Inc. has made its first two acquisitions a few weeks after securing a $107 million line of credit.

The Canadian pulse and special crops processor and exporter bought St. Hilaire Seed Company, a Minnesota dry bean processor, for $12 million.

The deal more than doubles Legumex Walker’s dry bean processing ability by adding 45,000 tonnes in annual capacity. The firm also gets five receiving facilities in North Dakota and one in Minnesota with combined storage capacity of 40,000 tonnes.

St. Hilaire processes pinto, black turtle, dark red kidney, great northern, cranberry and small red beans. All 35 employees will be retained, including the current management team.

Legumex Walker also announced the purchase of the sunflower seed assets of Anderson Seed Company for $4.8 million. The company had stopped production and laid off all its employees.

The sale includes a 40,000 tonne processing facility in Mentor, Minnesota, and two receiving stations in North Dakota with 13,000 tonnes of combined storage.

“St. Hilaire materially increases the contribution from dry beans in our product mix. It also diversifies our dry bean sourcing and processing through expansion into the American Midwest,” said Legumex Walker president Joel Horn.

The company has formed a new division, Legumex Walker Sunflower, LLC, to start seed processing once the sunflower seed facilities are staffed with about 25 employees.

“We have deep experience in sunflower seed processing that will serve us well in this venture,” said Horn.

The deals expand the company’s global sales and distribution networks and will allow it to establish new relationships with American growers.

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