A familiar name in Saskatchewan’s agricultural retail landscape is gone, but the business carries on under new ownership.
Hudye Soil Services Inc. is now Prairie Soil Services Ltd. after the Hudye Group, based in Norquay, Sask., announced its sale to two investment funds managed by PFM Capital Inc., an employee-owned investment management company in Regina that manages seven private equity funds.
Two of those funds, SaskWorks Venture Fund Inc. and APEX Investment Fund II LP, bought Hudye for an undisclosed price after the Norquay company solicited a buyer.
General manager Parker Summers remains at the company, as do the 14 full-time employees and about 26 seasonal workers.
He said it’s business as usual, including the financial platforms and the popular Canola King Challenge and Field of Dreams projects that Hudye offered.
“We get to continue to operate this business as an independent ag retail, with the processes and the model that have been tried, tested and true over the last 32 years,” he said.
He expects PFM will let its new acquisition continue as it has as long as financial success continues.
Prairie Soil Services includes three Saskatchewan locations at Norquay, Kamsack and Sturgis. Summers said each location serves a 100-kilometre radius.
“We do have customers that are as far away as Yellow Grass, (Sask.),” Summers said. “Being an independent ag retail is really important for how we do it — the full service kind of premium approach. We’re never the cheapest, but we provide value for what these guys are buying.”
The Hudye Group began as a small family farm in the 1940s and grew to include 20,000 acres in Saskatchewan, 16,000 acres in the United States and a bison operation. It sold its Canadian farmland in 2012 and its U.S. farmland in 2014 and is now focusing on residential and commercial real estate in the U.S. PFM has other agricultural interests, including farmland ownership through its TopSoil Farm Land Management Series.
Summers said he expects the new owners will also be community-oriented, as the Hudye family was.
“They’re really comfortable and really confident in PFM coming in,” he said. “It really is like changing the seven letters on the highway sign.”