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(Adds comments from CEO, background)
By Tom Polansek
NEW YORK, May 21 (Reuters) - U.S. grain handler Andersons Inc is not interested in being acquired, Chief Executive Officer Mike Anderson said on Thursday after Richardson International expressed interest in a takeover.
Richardson, one of Canada's largest grain handlers, last week said it was interested in Andersons as part of a push to expand in the United States.
"Our strategy does not include selling today," Anderson, the grandson of the company's founders, said in an interview.
Analysts have long considered Andersons, which has a $1.2 billion market value, to be a prime takeover target in the farm sector because of its diversified assets, including grain storage facilities and rail cars.
At a BMO Capital Markets investor conference in New York, Anderson said the company ranked eighth in U.S. storage capacity for grain. Archer Daniels Midland Co, Marubeni Corp's Gavilon and Cargill Inc held the top spots.
"Our primary intent, at this time, is that we believe we have a wonderful future for decades as an independent company," Anderson said. "That doesn't mean that somebody else wouldn't say that they'd be interested in buying us." (Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)