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Farm Credit organizations take first step in merging

Badgerland Financial building in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
NEW HEADQUARTERS: The headquarters of the proposed merged organization would be in Sun Prairie.
Badgerland Financial, AgStar Financial Services and 1st Farm Credit Services are preparing stockholders to vote on their proposed merger.

Badgerland Financial, AgStar Financial Services and 1st Farm Credit Services have received preliminary approval from the Farm Credit Administration for their proposed merger.

This preliminary approval allows the organizations to move forward with the merger process. As member-owned cooperatives, the next step for each organization is a stockholder vote on the proposed merger.

Stockholders can expect to receive a disclosure packet with specific information about the proposed merger in the near future, and each organization plans to have informational meetings to answer questions in March. All three cooperatives remain committed to keeping members, clients and stockholders informed of the process leading up to and following the stockholder vote.

The merger proposal must be approved by each organization’s voting stockholders. For this purpose, each organization has called a special meeting of stockholders to be held in early April. If the stockholders of the three cooperatives vote in favor of the proposed merger, the planned effective date of the merger will be July 1.

Rod Hebrink, president and chief executive officer for AgStar Financial Services since 2014, will lead the proposed merged organization. Before that, Hebrink served as AgStar’s chief financial officer for nearly 30 years, providing broad organization leadership to numerous functions during his tenure.

The headquarters of the proposed merged organization will be in Sun Prairie. While the headquarters is fairly central for the new organization geographically, the proposed merged organization is committed to a decentralized operating structure. No local offices will close as a result of the merger.

The board of directors for the proposed merged organization will be comprised of 14 elected member-directors and three appointed outside directors. If stockholders vote in favor of the merger, the new board will have equitable representation of board members in approximate proportion to the number of stockholders from each of the three areas.

As with all Farm Credit merger requests, the agency’s preliminary approval is subject to certain conditions, which will be described in detail for stockholders in the disclosure packet.

Source: Badgerland Financial


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