September 4, 1998
Deputy Premier and Crown Investments Corporation (CIC) Minister Dwain Lingenfelter announced today that CIC will become the sole owner of Western Canadian Beef Packers Inc. (WCB), ensuring a long-term future for the company and its 300 employees in Moose Jaw.
CIC had held a 40 per cent interest in the company. It is purchasing the remaining 60 per cent from Western Canadian Equities for $1.8 million.
"Western Canadian Beef's two plants are vitally important to the economies of Moose Jaw and the entire province," Lingenfelter said. "Besides providing 300 quality jobs, the plants buy more than $10 million of goods and services locally and throughout the province each year.
"WCB is a key player in our beef industry, which is one of our most important economic sectors. If WCB didn't exist, our cattle producers would have to ship the entire herd outside the province, incurring significant costs every year."
In addition to the purchase price, CIC is providing a $3 million loan guarantee to the Bank of Montreal to secure an operating line of credit and term financing for WCB. This will allow WCB to make immediate improvements, including upgrading refrigeration equipment at the slaughter plant.
"The commitment we are making is consistent with CIC's investment strategy," Lingenfelter said. "It is not our intention to own this company for the long term. However, it is in everyone's best interests to ensure the company's long-term viability and prepare it for sale to a buyer committed to the beef industry in Saskatchewan within the next few years."
Western Canadian Beef's slaughter plant began operations in Moose Jaw in mid-March of 1995. It slaughters about 180,000 animals a year. The beef processing plant, also located in Moose Jaw, opened in July, 1996.
Crown Investments Corporation
Phone: (306) 787-9039
Western Canadian Beef
Phone: (306) 692-0611