On Friday, August 20th, the results of Farmers Win-Five Star proposed merger vote were read to each board in their respective Special Meetings.
Both cooperative’s hit the 50% threshold. Five Star achieved an approval rating satisfactory to Iowa code to pass the vote. Farmers Win narrowly missed the 2/3rds majority.
There will be more information sent to members this week.
Our Merger Journey
We are pleased to inform you that on January 14, 2021, the Boards of Directors for Farmers Win and Five Star voted to sign a definitive agreement and move forward to a member vote of unifying the two cooperatives.
During the due diligence study, the teams identified specific benefits for both members and employees that demonstrated to the boards their support of moving forward with this unification at this time. The benefits identified include strengthening member service to continue investing in our technology, talent, assets and programs, the ability to implement the best practices of both organizations, the ability to compete and grow more effectively over a greater combined area, capacity and capability, and the ability to strategically position the company for the future.
Over the coming months, we will hold member meetings to inform about why we have decided to move forward with a member vote for unification. Ballots are anticipated to mail in July to Class A voting members with certification of the results in mid-August. We will be equipping both employee teams to best answer your questions. In the meantime, we will be developing timelines around safe meetings and collecting member questions to create informational documents. We want to hear from you.
We are excited about the possibilities this unification brings to us to grow our business and remain relevant in the future. We believe it will bring positive opportunities to your local cooperative, its member and its employees. Member voting packets will be mailed out in the coming months, please join us in voting YES to support the unification.
Why Farmers Win-Five Star Now?
- A Merger of Equals
- Timing is right to go together and create the best of both cooperatives in the future
- Both are financially successful & similar in size
- More Strategic Investments
- Make better decisions based on a larger footprint for both physical and rolling stock assets.
- Avoid potential future investments in duplicate areas
- Influence Our Future
- By combining cooperatives, we will have a better ability to control our cooperative destiny
- This will create the chance to grow faster than the cost to compete
- Standing Up to the Competition
- We will be allowed a fresh opportunity to develop a structure that can better compete in an ever-changing environment
- The cooperative is the backbone of rural America and as the cooperative competition gets bigger, tougher, and further removed from the farmgate, we want to be here for the future
- Opportunity is Here Today
- Both Board of Directors and Management teams see the importance of seizing this opportunity versus going along with what’s to come
- Opportunity doesn’t linger too long, we must be proactive today
Opportunities in Merging
- Maintain Local Control
- Preserve board representation with a wide understanding of the member needs and dedicated to following the cooperative principles
- Know your cooperative from the outside in; from the frontlines to the CEO/GM office, the doors will continue to be open
- Attract & Retain the Best Employees
- By combining our payroll and benefits packages, we will become an Employer of Choice in our communities by keeping the future of agriculture here
- We’ll be able to offer more competitive packages to new and existing employees while creating career paths with growth and change
- Strengthen Member Services
- Through merging, we will have a great ability to improve assets and leverage new technology faster for better use in your operations
- We’ll potentially be able to better utilize current assets more fully, service all our members at a higher level while growing sales in the areas we have gaps
- We can be Stronger Together
- Through a combined footprint, we’ll be able to migrate equipment and personnel south to north or west to east to achieve optimal operational efficiency
- The balance sheet will be stronger together than separate with a greater borrowing capacity and a cost structure more agile for the future
- 1+1 will be more than 2 by making the most of the synergies in all departments