Western Sugar Cooperative announced Tuesday it is in the due diligence phase of a three-way sugarbeet factory agreement with American Crystal Sugar Company and The Imperial Sugar Company.
Under terms of the agreement, American Crystal will purchase the Torrington, WY, facility from Imperial Sugar. The Western Sugar Cooperative will operate the factory under an agreement with American Crystal.
The acquisition is a win-win situation for all involved, according to CEO Inder Mathur. Western Sugar will be gaining additional long-term, qualified growers while the entire areas of western Nebraska, eastern Wyoming and northeastern Colorado will benefit from the consolidation of the sugar industry under Western operations.
The increased packaging capability at Torrington makes it possible for Western Sugar to produce more high-quality products for its customers. Bringing Torrington into the Western Sugar operations creates considerable potential for expanded beet acreage and additional economic advantages in beet receiving and processing.
Final transaction will be completed by the end of October. The agreement is subject to USDA approval.
The Western Sugar Cooperative is a grower-owned processor with more than 1,000 members in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska and Wyoming.
American Crystal, based at Moorhead, MN, is no stranger to western states sugarbeet production. At one time it owned and operated a factory at Rocky Ford, CO. It is also rumored to have shown interest in the Amalgamated Sugar Company when it was sold.
Just what the owner/operation arrangement is with American Crystal and Western Sugar was not spelled out in an initial news release.
The sale of the Torrington factory by Imperial Sugar makes the second factory sold in Wyoming by the company this year. It had earlier sold the Worland, WY, factory to its grower/stockholders.