Beet Growers Eye Buy Outs

Published online: Sep 18, 2000
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United States sugarbeet growers in eight states are considering buyouts of their sugar companies after the companies were put on the selling block this year.

Imperial Sugar has been trying to sell its two northern California factories with growers in California and Oregon; Western Sugar owned by the British company Tate and Lyle, has put its six factories located in Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming and Montana up for sale; and Imperial Sugar has recently tried to sell the four Michigan Sugar Company factories supplied by growers in Michigan and Ohio.

Randon Wilson a cooperative attorney of the Jones Waldo Holbrook and McDonough law firm in Salt Lake City, UT, has been working with growers of all companies to see if buy outs are possible.

Wilson was successful in the recent grower buy out of Amalgamated Sugar Company by growers in Idaho, Oregon and Washington, forming the new Snake River Sugar Company.

Growers in the Western Sugar Company are the closest to putting together financial packages to buy out their company. Growers have given overwhelming support to the buyout. Each contract holder committed $2 an acre for a feasibility study.

Western growers may be just weeks away from knowing if financing and buy out agreements can be reached.