Besides the announcement that it intended to sell the Torrington, WY, sugarbeet-processing factory, Imperial Sugar Company has also announced it is in discussions to sell its Sidney, MT, and Hereford, TX, factories.
The announcement followed one by Western Sugar Cooperative, which announced an operational agreement with American Crystal Sugar Company to operate the Torrington, WY, factory upon purchase by American Crystal.
The transactions to American Crystal are subject to USDA approval, completion of due diligence, negotiation and execution of a definitive agreement, receipt of lender and Board of Director’s approval, and the completion of the Torrington sales package.
Financial terms were not announced. They will be disclosed in the company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings following completion of the transaction.
“After reviewing the economics of these plants in conjunction with our long-term objectives, including focusing on strategic locations and reducing the Company’s leverage, we believe that our interests are best serverd by this transaction,” said Robert A. Peiser, Imperial Sugar’s president and chief executive officer.
“While all of these facilities have been a part of our family for many years and have performed well because of the substantial efforts of our very dedicated employees and the support of our grower-suppliers, the plant locations no longer fit our strategic objectives.”
Imperial Sugar anticipates a seamless transition for its customers. Imperial will continue to operate its sugar refineries in Sugar Land, TX, Gramercy, LA, and Port Wentworth, GA; sugarbeet factories in Mendota and Brawley, CA, and a packaging facility in Tracy, CA. Certain customer orders from Sidney and Torrington will be transferred to these facilities.
“Our California facilities remain an excellent fit with our long-term strategic objectives as they are close to large population centers and to many of our large industrial customers. We remain committed to the California beet industry and look forward to continuing our relationship with our grower-suppliers and customers in those areas,” Peiser stated.