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Prairie Malt sale finalized

Cargill, who was the previous owner, made the original deal with the AXEREAL Group in December of 2018, who would put the Biggar business into their malt subsidiary, Boortmalt.
Boortmalt, created in 1927 in Belgium (currently headquartered in Antwerp), produces specialty malts for beers, whiskies and food. Company officials have said that there will be minimal disruption at the Biggar facility.
The Biggar Prairie Malt sale is one part of a larger acquisition, seeing Boortmalt taking control of 16 malting businesses from across nine different countries, doubling Boortmalt’s production to three million tonnes of malt per year from its now 27 malting plants on five continents.
Cargill said in December that it was ridding itself of all malting houses, preferring to concentrate on other food and beverage ingredients. In turn, Cargill closed a malt facility in Jamestown, North Dakota last year, citing falling demand for six-row barley. Boortmalt’s acquisition gives them access to North American production with plants in Sheboygan, Wisconsin and, of course, Biggar.
Yven Schaepman, Chief Executive Officer for Boortmalt said the takeover offers new growth prospects and minimizes risks, particularly those associated to climate change.
“It also allows us to accelerate the development of new malting barley varieties and to create new malts. With this acquisition, we are pursuing our primary ambition to become the best maltster in the world,” Schaepman added.
Prairie Malt was originally created in 1974 as Henninger Malting. It then was operated from 1977 to 1989 by the provincial government who sold it to Schreier Malting and its partner, the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool. Cargill bought a majority stake in Prairie Malt in 1998, taking full control of the Biggar operation in 2013.
The Biggar operation has the capacity to handle about 220,000 tonnes of malting barley per year.