Co-op buys Michigan Sugar

Co-op buys Michigan Sugar – Brief Article

Sugarbeet growers–more than 1,000 strong and organized as Michigan Sugar Beet Growers Inc.–have completed purchase of Michigan Sugar Co. at Carrolton, Mich. The $64.5 million sale took 2 years of negotiations with the owner, Texas-based Imperial Sugar Co. Later this year, the cooperative’s 1,038 members from 11 counties will elect a new 11-member board of directors. Imperial was paid $29 million in cash, $24 million of it raised from the sale of stock to the grower-owners. The remaining cash came from a 5-year loan from the state of Michigan. The cooperative will still owe Imperial for a 10-year, $16 million loan at 8 percent interest and will begin repaying $18.5 million in Michigan Industrial Development Bonds at 6.5 percent interest in 2015.

Sugar produced by the cooperative under the Pioneer brand will be marketed by Imperial for the next 10 years. The pulp and molasses will be marketed by the cooperative. Processing facilities are centered in Michigan, Ohio and Ontario. Mark Flegenheimer is president and chief executive officer of the cooperative, which will hire 350 full-time and 1,000 seasonal employees.

COPYRIGHT 2002 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Rural Business – Cooperative Service

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