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Land O'Lakes to Buy Purina

Dairy cooperative Land O'Lakes Inc. yesterday it would buy Purina Mills Inc. for approximately $230 million in cash.

Purina Mills would become part of Land O'Lakes Farmland Feed LLC following the acquisition. The company will add about $425 million in annual sales to Land O' Lakes' nearly $6 billion in annual sales, according to Reuters.

"We are bringing together well-recognized brands in different product categories, as well as complementary geography and product lines," said Land O'Lakes Chief Executive Jack Gherty in a statement. "We are building the economies of scale and critical mass necessary to compete nationally in the consolidating feed industry. This transaction clearly has positive implications for the long-term success of our farmer-owned feed system."

Amid a slump in sales, Purina Mills filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 1999. It went public a year later to raise capital. Privately held agribusiness giant Cargill Inc. owns about 5 percent in the company.

Purina Mills' product lines, brands, nationwide dealer network and checkerboard trademark logo will be maintained, Land O' Lakes said in a statement. The company will continue to be based in St. Louis, with its own sales and marketing team, the report said.
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