• Condensed by Lynda Kiernan-Stone

Another Co-Op Merger - This Time, Farmers Win and Five Star

The consolidation trend among U.S. ag co-operatives continues with the announced agreement from Farmers Win and Five Star co-operatives to merge into a combined business.

In February 2020, teams from both cooperatives formed seven research teams to investigate the potential synergies and risks associated with such a move. These teams reported their findings to a joint board after which each board of directors signed their approval to the merger. Each team assessed aspects of their current department, comparing processes with their equivalent department in the other cooperative. Teams also discussed what a combined business would potentially look like. Both co-ops are similar in financial success and size, (Farmers Win has 17 locations in northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota, and Five Star has 18 locations in north central and northeast Iowa) so the deal is being viewed as a merger of equals into a business that is able to make more strategic investments by avoiding duplication and can best utilize its physical assets for faster growth. However, the pandemic significantly delayed the timeline for the project.

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