LONDON, Ontario – London, Ontario-based Masterfeeds Inc. and Ridley Inc., which is based in Mankato, Minn., and Winnipeg, Manitoba, have reached an agreement to merge their respective commercial livestock and poultry feed and nutrition businesses in Canada into a new entity called Masterfeeds LP. Combining Masterfeeds and Ridley's Canadian feed business, which operates as Feed-Rite, will create the second-largest feed provider in Canada.

Both parties expect the merger to result in significant new synergies over time. The merger is expected to be completed in 30-45 days. This new entity will operate 22 feed manufacturing plants and employ more than 500 people in a business that spans across Quebec, Ontario, and the Prairie Provinces. Masterfeeds LP will be based in London, Ontario, and led by Rob Flack, current Masterfeeds Inc. chief executive officer.

"Masterfeeds and Feed-Rite are two of the most respected brand names in Canadian animal agriculture," Flack said. "We are excited about bringing the strengths of both companies together as we continue to serve our dealers and customers with dynamic feeding solutions and a larger, more efficient geographic footprint in Canada.”

As Canadian meat, milk and egg producers have become fewer, larger and ever more sophisticated, it has been obvious for some time the feed industry in Canada would benefit from a similar transformation, he added.

Masterfeeds is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ag Processing Inc. (AGP). Based in Omaha, Neb., AGP is a farmer-owned cooperative engaged in the procurement, processing, marketing and transportation of grains and grain products. Acquiring Masterfeeds in 1991, AGP is owned by 175 local cooperatives representing more than 250,000 farmers throughout the Midwest, and five regional cooperatives representing farmers throughout the US and Canada.

Ridley Inc. is one of North America's leading commercial animal nutrition companies. It manufactures and distributes a full range of animal nutrition products under a number of trade names.