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Joint Venture Explores Buying CHS Retail Assets

Co-Alliance, Ceres Solutions partnership demonstrates continued importance of cooperative model serving local farmers

Indiana-based agricultural cooperatives Ceres Solutions and Co-Alliance will form a joint venture to pursue purchasing assets of a CHS-owned agricultural retail business in Michigan.

“We’re pleased to partner with Co-Alliance with the goal of expanding our mutual retail operations to serve farmers throughout central Michigan with agricultural products and services,” says Jeff Troike, CEO of Ceres Solutions.

“This strategic joint venture with Ceres Solutions combined with the potential purchase of extensive retail assets will add capabilities and scale to extend reach and drive growth for both cooperatives and our respective owners,” added Kevin Still, CEO of Co-Alliance.

Rick Dusek, CHS executive vice president, says the parties would also negotiate a wholesale supply agreement.

“Consistent with the CHS purpose of creating connections to empower agriculture, the proposed transaction would expand the operations of these two leading cooperatives, ensure farmers have continued access to cooperative products and services, and allow CHS to reinvest in retail operations more closely aligned with its core business supply chain,” says Dusek.

Troike and Still said the joint venture and potential acquisition of assets and capabilities demonstrate the continued importance of the cooperative model serving local farmers.

The parties said negotiations and due diligence will continue in the coming days and weeks and that they hope to obtain necessary board approvals and complete the transaction later this year.

Ceres Solutions is a 100% farmer-owned local cooperative headquartered in Crawfordsville, Indiana, that serves customers across 37 counties in Indiana and Michigan. The business strives to build long-term relationships and add value through a comprehensive line of energy, agronomy, seed and feed products and services. More than 650 experienced Ceres Solutions team members are focused daily on delivering service, stewardship and innovation to earn and keep customer trust.

Co-Alliance LLP is a member-owned supply and marketing operation delivering innovative solutions for farmer-members and customers across Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois specializing in agronomy, propane, fuels, grain, seed, hog production and feed. The customer-focused company strives to fulfill its collective mission to lead with people and technology, grow profitably, give back locally, and remember it is a cooperative.

CHS Inc. is a leading global agribusiness owned by farmers, ranchers and cooperatives across the United States. Diversified in energy, agronomy, grains and foods, CHS is committed to creating connections to empower agriculture, helping its farmer-owners, customers and other stakeholders grow their businesses through its domestic and global operations. CHS supplies energy, crop nutrients, seed, crop protection products, grain marketing services, production and agricultural services, animal nutrition products, foods and food ingredients, and risk management services. The company operates petroleum refineriesand pipelines and manufactures, markets and distributes Cenex® brand refined fuels, lubricants, propane and renewable energy products.

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