The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

September 26, 2008

Fairfax Financial buys Mankato-based Ridley

Company sold for $81 million at $8.50 a share.

MANKATO — Mankato-based Ridley Inc. has been sold to Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited in Toronto.

Ridley Corp. Ltd., the company’s 69 percent controlling shareholder, sold its interest in the company to Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited for $8.50 per share in Canadian dollars for a total cost of $81 million.

The sale is expected to be completed Oct. 20.

Ridley Inc., headquartered in Mankato and Winnipeg, Manitoba, is one of North America’s leading commercial animal nutrition companies. Ridley Inc. manufactures and/or distributes animal food under a number of trade names.

Steve Van Roekel, president and CEO of Ridley Inc., said the Mankato facility employs about 150 people. The sale to Fairfax, he said, should not affect any jobs in Mankato or mean any kind of relocation.

“We’re happy to be in Mankato and we have no plans to move anywhere else,” Van Roekel said.

The agreement between Ridley Australia and Fairfax is a private sale agreement to which the company is not a party. And Ridley said that no offer will be made to Ridley shareholders generally.

In commenting on Ridley Australia’s sale of its interest in the company to Fairfax, Brian Hayward, the chairman of the company’s board of directors, stated: “We look forward to meeting with Mr. Prem Watsa and other representatives from Fairfax to discuss the company’s business and strategy.”

Fairfax is a financial holdings company which, through subsidiaries, is engaged in casualty insurance and reinsurance and investment management.

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