WHEAT POOL TO BUY MOST OF ELDERS' CANADIAN ASSETS

WHEAT POOL TO BUY MOST OF ELDERS' CANADIAN ASSETS

Canada's Saskatchewan Wheat Pool has reached agreement in principle to

purchase most of Elders Grain Co.'s Canadian assets, according to J.M. Fare, pool chief executive officer.

Mr. Fare said the transaction is expected to be completed by the end of May. He declined to detail terms of the agreement, including the purchase price.The agreement includes the purchase of Elders' 154,000-metric-ton capacity grain terminal in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and the two terminals in Winnipeg, Manitoba, one with a storage capacity of 137,000 tons and the other with 15,000 tons, Mr. Fare said.

The purchase will also include four sunseed packaging plants, three located in Fargo, Valley City and Spiritwood, N.D., while the fourth is in Kindersley, Saskatchewan.

The company's specialty crops trading division, headquartered in Surrey, British Columbia, and Elder's alfalfa dehydration and processing plant at Creston, B.C., are also part of the agreement, Mr. Fare said.

Michael Nugent, chief executive officer for Elders Agribusiness said the sale of the remaining Canadian assets are currently being negotiated with other buyer interests.

Mr. Nugent added that the sale was part of a planned rationalization of operations in preparation for the stock exchange listing in Australia of Elders Ltd.

Mr. Fare said the purchase allows the wheat pool to participate in specific sales programs for individual customers and to position itself for future marketing opportunities, including such developments that may arise

from the US-Canada free trade agreement.