Country Visions and Agri-Partners to Merge

Posted on Jun 21, 2013 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive.
Posted by of Insight Publications

Country Visions in Reedsville and Agri-Partners Cooperatives in Brillion announced plans to merge, which will combine $114 million from Country Visions sales and $95 million from Agri-Partners sales.

Steve Zutz, Agri-Partners CEO, left, and Bob Lowe, Country Visions CEO are working to provide a smooth transition for cooperative employees and patrons as the two cooperatives officially become one Sept. 1.

The new cooperative will retain the Country Visions Cooperative name, in order to retain patron investment and offer continuity. The cooperative will be overseen by six members from the Country Visions Board and six members from the Agri-Visions Board.

Members who have money in either Agri-Partners or Country Visions will have the same amount in the new company. Patrons from both cooperatives will have their back equity paid to the year 1999, and remain equal going forward, the companies said.

“I see the duplication of trade area and products and services. I see this as an opportunity to create a stronger, more efficient cooperative for the future,” says Bob Lowe, Country Visions CEO. “This is one of the strengths this merger is bringing to the table.”

The first day of business for the new company will be Sept. 1. Steve Zutz, CEO of Agri-Partners, will lead the cooperative. Lowe will serve as the vice president of Energy and Retail until his retirement at the end of this year. Dennis Halbach will continue as vice president of Agriculture.

With this merger, the Country Visions office in Reedsville will serve as the corporate office, while The Agri-Partners office in Brillion will be closed.

Zutz says that continuing to provide a high level of service to all clients is the first goal of the cooperation. Many customers will continue to be served by the same employees in the same locations.

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–Sean Lyons