Nearly five months after announcing its intention to “review strategic alternatives” for the company, Pinnacle Agriculture Distribution has chosen to go the way of acquisition. It has signed an agreement to be acquired by J.R. Simplot Co. pending regulatory review.
Pinnacle Ag, currently ranked #6 in the CropLife 100, features 135 storefronts in 26 states, according to the 2019 CropLife 100 report, with deepest market penetration in the Delta and Southeastern U.S. Storefronts reach from Texas up through the Dakotas to the West, and from Western Georgia north to Michigan to the East.
Conversely, Simplot, ranked #7 in the CropLife 100, operates 90 locations in 14 largely western states, reaching as far east as the Red River valley, western Nebraska and Kansas, and southeastern Texas. The territory maps for both companies demonstrate very little coverage overlap as far as farmer-customer coverage.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Pinnacle employees, customers and partners,” said Doug Stone, President of Simplot’s AgriBusiness Group, in a press release. “By combining our geographic footprint and shared commitment to service, we will better serve customers in some of the most important agricultural communities in the world. We look forward to bringing together these complementary businesses and continuing to create value for our customers.”
Seeing opportunity in re-configuring and scaling ag distribution, investment firm Apollo Global Management launched Pinnacle Ag in 2012 with a headquarters in Memphis. A strategic agreement that same year with southeast retail powerhouse Jimmy Sanders, Inc. of Cleveland, MS, and G & H Seed shortly after, propelled the company on a rapid acquisition and growth path. Some 50 organizations were acquired over Pinnacle’s eight-year run.
“Every year it seems, we receive word that companies within the just-completed CropLife 100 have decided to merge,” says Eric Sfiligoj, CropLife Editor. “That said, the combination of Simplot with Pinnacle should strengthen the market positions of both retailers, in 2020 and beyond.”
As for the acquiring company, the privately-held, family owned Simplot just finished celebrating its 90th anniversary as a fully integrated, farm-to-table agribusiness. In addition to significantly growing its U.S. retail footprint, the acquisition brings along Pinnacle’s Innvictis Crop Care division, featuring a full line of branded adjuvants, crop protection, seed treatment, and crop nutrition products.