The Jim Pattison Group has consolidated its Prairie farm equipment dealerships in Saskatchewan and Manitoba under one new banner.
Pattison on Tuesday announced the merger of its Maple Farm Equipment and JayDee AgTech chains, which deal mainly in John Deere farm equipment. The two chains are to be rebranded as Pattison Agriculture.
Darrin Didychuk, now president of Pattison Agriculture, said Tuesday the merger “creates one of the largest agriculture-focused equipment companies in Canada,” with 17 dealerships and 440 employees serving over 18 million acres of Prairie farm production.
Headquartered at Swift Current, Sask., Pattison Agriculture “will be a financially-secure service provider that will meet the needs of Canadian farmers,” the company said.
The two chains come to the bigger table with complementary catchment areas. Maple Farm Equipment operates mainly in eastern Saskatchewan, with dealerships at Yorkton, Wynyard, Balcarres, Moosomin, Foam Lake and Preeceville, plus a site in western Manitoba at Russell, about 100 km southeast of Yorkton.
JayDee also has dealerships in eastern Saskatchewan, at Humboldt and Kelvington, but runs mainly up the west side of the province, with sites at Swift Current, North Battleford, Kindersley, Maple Creek, Shaunavon, Leader, Kyle and Unity.
Pattison said it will maintain all 17 sites and “will continue to seek opportunities for investment and expansion into business lines that will mutually benefit the company and its core customers.”
Maple Farm Equipment has operated in Saskatchewan since 1964, starting in Yorkton as a Minneapolis Moline dealership and taking in more dealerships up until 2010. Calgary-based Cervus, another major Deere dealer chain, took a minority stake in Maple Farm in 2009 and brought its Moosomin and Russell dealerships into the Maple Farm chain in 2010.
Maple Farm was also the Jim Pattison Group’s first venture into farm equipment, when it took majority control of Maple Farm in 2014. Cervus, in a debt-cutting move, sold its 21.449 per cent of Maple Farm to Pattison last month for about $9.1 million.
Maple Farm also made a separate $1.7 million deal last month to buy Cervus-owned land and buildings that were included in the Maple Farm chain.
JayDee started in 1975 as a family-owned Deere dealership in Swift Current, expanding to five locations by 2002.
It then merged with Green Acres Equipment, Greenstar Ag and Turf and Humboldt Farm Equipment in 2009 to form JayDee AgTech, which the Pattison Group then bought in 2014.
Having started as a GM dealership in 1961, the Jim Pattison Group’s exposure to agribusiness until recently was mainly as a retail grocer, operating the Overwaitea chain since 1968 and Buy-Low Foods since 1995.
Pattison, whose other holdings include auto and tractor-trailer sales, forest products, radio stations, wholesale magazine delivery, advertising billboards and indoor waterparks, also expanded its reach into retail wine sales with the Everything Wine chain in 2011.
On the food supply side, Pattison owns seafood processors Ocean Brands and Canfisco and bought control of B.C.-based juice and fruit snack manufacturer SunRype in 2013. — AGCanada.com Network
CORRECTION, Jan. 11, 2017: A previous version of this story incorrectly placed the community of Russell, Man. as southwest of Yorkton, Sask.