Scoular has acquired the Legumex Walker Inc. special crop division, devoted to pulse crops.

Scoular entered into an agreement with Canadian company Legumex Walker in September to acquire all the assets of LWI’s special crops division for $70.4 million plus the amount of working capital at closing. The transaction was finalized in November, according to Scoular.

Based in Urbandale, Iowa, Scoular now owns the Legumex Walker name and the affiliated special crops business. The seller has changed its name to LWP Capital Inc.

The special crops division includes the processing of lentils, whole and split peas, edible beans, chickpeas, canaryseed, flaxseed and sunflower seed, according to Scoular. Pulses are referred to as special crops in the industry.

Pacific Northwest farmers likely won’t immediately see changes as a result of the acquisition, but the division will allow Scoular to advance marketing in the future, said Bob Ludington, chief operating officer for the company.

Scoular will buy pulses from PNW farmers after taking time to get adjusted to the market and creating some new infrastructure, Ludington said.

The special crops group has established relationships with universities in the United States and Canada to develop new varieties, Ludington said.

“They’re all being derived by our customers, mostly on the food side, where they want a different color, a longer shelf life and different protein or processing profiles,” he said.

Scoular became aware of Legumex Walker through the Pacific Coast Canola plant in Warden, Wash. Legumex Walker was an owner of the plant.

“We had been looking for a business in the special crops area for 15 to 20 years,” Ludington said. “Once (Legumex Walker) announced they were going to be selling, we began working in earnest to acquire that group.”

The Warden plant is not involved in the special crops division acquisition, Ludington said.

The first 30 to 90 days will be devoted to transitioning customers and the more than 300 new employees moving to Scoular from Legumex Walker, Ludington said.

Through the acquisition, Scoular is adding 14 processing facilities strategically located in key growing regions in the Canadian prairie provinces, the northern U.S. and China, according to a Scoular press release.

Scoular will continue to look for possibilities in the Northwest. Ludington said the company has been well-received by growers in the region.

“We’ve been pretty aggressive in our expansion, adding assets in Oregon, Idaho and Washington,” Ludington said. “We’re in discussions constantly with different folks, looking to partner and or sell their businesses.”

Scoular is a privately held, 123-year-old U.S. agricultural marketing company with affiliates in Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, China and Singapore. Following its acquisition of the LWI special crops business, the company now has more than 120 offices and facilities with more than 1,200 employees.

Scoular has two locations each in California, Oregon and Washington state and 11 locations in Idaho.

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