UPDATE 1-Investor group takes over grain handler CWB, renames it G3 Canada

Fri Jul 31, 2015 3:49pm EDT
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(Updates with CEO comments)

By Rod Nickel

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, July 31 (Reuters) - G3 Global Grain Group said on Friday it has closed its investment in Canadian grain marketer CWB, becoming its majority investor, and has renamed the company G3 Canada Ltd.

The move clears the way for G3 Global, a joint venture of U.S.-based Bunge Ltd and Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co, to build new grain-handling facilities at Port Metro Vancouver on Canada's Pacific Coast and on the Canadian Prairies.

G3 Canada combines the assets of CWB, including a few country elevators, Eastern Canadian grain-handling facilities and rail cars, with Bunge's Canadian grain assets.

"There's not a lot of overlap," said G3 Canada Chief Executive Karl Gerrand. "It's actually very complementary."

The company is also developing plans to build a port terminal at Hamilton, Ontario with storage capacity for 50,000 to 60,000 tonnes of grain, he said.

G3 Global's C$250 million ($192.65 million) purchase of a 50.1 percent stake in CWB, announced in April, removes a name that long dominated the world grain industry. CWB, or the Canadian Wheat Board, for decades held government-sanctioned marketing control of Western Canada's milling wheat and barley.

The Canadian government removed those marketing powers in 2012, and the company operated for several years as a small grain company.

Ian White, former CWB chief executive, has now retired.

($1=$1.30 Canadian) (Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Peter Galloway and Diane Craft)