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Agri-Partners, Country Visions Cooperatives to Merge
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 06/18/2013

Another two Wisconsin agricultural cooperatives are in the process of merging. Effective September 1, Country Visions and Agri-Partners Cooperatives will merge into one business in an effort to save patron investment and offer continuity.

The venture will combine Country Visions sales of $114 million with Agri-Partners sales at $95 million. The new company will be called Country Visions Cooperative.

According to a company press release, the cooperative will be governed by six members from the Agri-Partners Board and six members from the Country Visions Board. Districts will be established at a later date to ensure representation throughout the trade territory.

Equity in the new cooperative will go in on a dollar for dollar basis. Patron members who have a dollar of equity in either Agri-Partners or Country Visions will have a dollar of equity in the new company. Patrons from both cooperatives will have their back equity paid to the year 1999, and remain equal moving forward.

"I see the duplication of trade area and products and services. I see this as an opportunity to create a stronger, more efficient cooperative for the future. This is one of the strengths this merger is bringing to the table," stated Bob Lowe, Country Visions CEO.

The newly organized Country Visions Cooperative will have a 60.8 percent ownership in CP Feeds, located in Valders. The two cooperatives' investment realized sales of $125 million last fiscal year. The Loefer family will continue to own the remaining portion of the feed business.

The cooperative will be led by current Agri-Partners CEO Steve Zutz. Bob Lowe will serve as the Vice President of Energy and Retail until his retirement, scheduled for the end of this year. Dennis Halbach will continue as the Vice President of Agriculture. The corporate office will be located in Reedsville at the current Country Visions office. The Agri-Partners Brillion office location will be closed.

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