Representatives of American Crystal Sugar Company and Big Sky Sugar Cooperative announced on Friday that they have signed a non-binding letter of intent providing the framework by which Big Sky would become the owner of the Sidney sugar processing facility.
Big Sky is a newly formed cooperative that is owned by sugarbeet growers who currently deliver sugarbeets to the facility. The parties will continue to negotiate the terms of the definitive agreements needed to implement the transaction.
“We have been working with the growers in an effort to outline the terms of an agreement that makes sense for both parties”, said Tom Astrup, the CEO of American Crystal. “We believe we have now outlined the terms of such an agreement and look forward to working with the local growers to complete the negotiations of the transaction details.”
Kjeld Jonsson, president of Big Sky, noted that the proposed transaction will allow the local sugarbeet growers to have greater control of the future of sugarbeet farming in eastern Montana and western North Dakota.
“We are excited about the possibilities that this transaction presents to both our owner/members and larger Sidney community," Jonsson said.
The letter of intent outlines the principal terms of the transaction, but the parties noted that many details remain to be resolved. It is anticipated that these negotiations will be taking place over the upcoming months.
American Crystal Sugar Company is an agricultural cooperative owned by 2,650 shareholders in the Red River Valley involved in the growing and processing of sugarbeets. American Crystal is the largest beet sugar producer in the United States. American Crystal operates sugar factories at East Grand Forks, Crookston and Moorhead, Minn., Drayton and Hillsboro, N.D., and Sidney. Its corporate headquarters and technical services center are located in Moorhead.
Big Sky Sugar Cooperative is a Montana Agricultural Cooperative that was organized in 2017 for the purpose of acquiring and operating Sidney Sugars, Inc on behalf of local sugarbeet growers who will be invited to become members of the Cooperative if the acquisition proceeds