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Wisconsin River Co-Op And Farmer's Co-Op Plan Merger

Wisconsin River Co-Op And Farmer's Co-Op Plan Merger
Two Wisconsin cooperatives, Wisconsin River Co-op, based in Adams, and Farmer's Co-op Supply and Shipping Association, based in West Salem, signed a letter of intent and announced plans to pursue a merger of the companies.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION: This new plant in Tomah is an 8,000 ton dry fertilizer and 2,000 ton liquid fertilizer facility that is being built by Wisconsin River Co-op and Farmer's Co-op. It will open next spring.

"There are many advantages to a unification of our cooperatives," Wisconsin River Co-op CEO Timothy Diemert said about the merger plan. "Both cooperatives are strong – with nearly equal sales and assets. Together the two cooperatives will have the purchasing power of a $220 million company. We will improve the utilization of our facilities and equipment. We can add efficiency to our sales and delivery routes. We will also be better positioned for growth and have increased access to capital. These advantages are just a few of the many that have been identified.  Each of these advantages will strengthen our leadership position in the marketplace and help to ensure the long-term success of our cooperative."

"We are both financially sound," added Farmer's Co-op Supply and Shipping Association General Manager Monty Wick. "We're doing what we feel is best for our members in an increasingly competitive and ever-changing marketplace."

The boards of both co-ops have strongly endorsed a merger. A vote by the members is scheduled to take place in early November. For the merger to proceed the majority of each cooperative's members must cast votes in favor of the plan. If the members support the merger, the transition to the combined organization will take place in early 2013.

"Sometimes businesses merge to overcome the weakness of one or both of the entities being joined.  Others, however, combine operations to set the stage for an even better future -- as is the case with the pending combination of Wisconsin River Co-op and Farmer's Co-op," said Wick.  "We believe this is a win-win for both cooperatives."

The cooperatives will hold a series of member meetings in early November to address customer questions and concerns. A complete list of meeting times and locations may be found at www.wrc.coop.

Wisconsin River Co-op has been serving the people of central Wisconsin for more than 80 years.  With services ranging from agronomy, feed and grain to LP and refined fuels to auto parts, tires and a convenience store, -- Wisconsin River Co-op has operations in Adams, Mauston, Necedah, Plainfield, Plover and Wisconsin Dells.

Farmers Co-op Supply and Shipping Association was formed in 1917.  Its services include agronomy, feed, grain, LP, refined fuels, hardware, tires and a convenience store.  It has operations in West Salem, Galesville, Melrose, Mindoro and Tomah.

Source: Wisconsin River Co-op

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