The Competition Tribunal has issued a decision dismissing the Competition Bureau's challenge of Parrish & Heimbecker's (P&H) acquisition of the Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) grain elevator at Virden, Manitoba.

The elevator in question was part of a strategic acquisition announced in September of 2019 where P&H would purchase ten Louis Dreyfus facilities.

Also included in that deal P&H would acquire LDC facilities in Dawson Creek, BC; Tisdale, Aberdeen, Kegworth and Wilkie, Saskatchewan as well as operations in Joffre, Lyalta, and Rycroft, Alberta.

LDC would keep its grain terminal at Port Cartier, Quebec and the canola crushing plant and refinery in Yorkton, Saskatchewan.

In December 2019, the Competition Bureau filed an application with the Tribunal for an order requiring P&H to sell either its own elevator in Moosomin, Saskatchewan or the former LDC elevator in Virden.

The Bureau determined the acquisition would eliminate the rivalry between the only two grain elevators along a 180 km stretch of the TransCanada Highway. 

In its filing, the Bureau noted that the two elevators closely monitored each other's wheat and canola prices and responded to competitive activity by offering farmers better prices for Canadian grains, and felt the acquisition would eliminate this rivalry.

The Tribunal's reasons for the ruling are confidential.

The Competition Bureau is reviewing the decision to determine its next steps.