February 15, 2012 / 3:53 PM / in 6 years

Viterra to sell North American feed assets

TORONTO, Feb 15 - Viterra Inc, a Canadian grain handler whose profits have slumped as global financial uncertainty has intensified, said on Wednesday it will sell all of its North American feed assets.

Calgary-based Viterra VT.TO said the assets - including six feed mills and one pre-mix manufacturing facility in Canada, and six feed mills and a commodity blending site in the United States - will be sold to Hi-Pro Feeds LP, which is owned by the existing management team of Viterra’s feed unit and by Toronto-based Birch Hill Equity Partners.

The feed unit makes feed products for cattle, hogs, horses and poultry, as well as specialty feed and pet food.

Viterra gave no price, and said the decision to sell was based on a strategic review. The company’s New Zealand feed assets are unaffected.

Viterra VT.TO last month reported a lower profit than expected for the fourth quarter, and noted excess capacity and intense competition in the feed products industry.

The company’s feed competitors include Cargill CARG.UL and Ridley Inc RCL.TO.

Viterra’s shares fell 3 Canadian cents to C$10.22 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Wednesday morning.

($1=$1.00 Canadian)

Reporting By Pav Jordan in Toronto and Rod Nickel in Winnipeg; Editing by Janet Guttsman and Peter Galloway

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