The Andersons earns its daily bread on a mix of grains, trains,
and corncobs. The agricultural company's main business -- its Grain
and Ethanol segments -- consists of the buying, conditioning, and
reselling of corn, soybeans, and wheat, which it acquires from US
grain farmers and stores. To support the operation, it uses a
system of elevators and terminals located in the Midwest. Its Grain
and Ethanol units account for more than 75% of annual sales. The
Andersons also boasts a Plant Nutrient/Turf & Specialty Group,
a Retail Group, and a Rail Group. The agricultural firm operates in
the US in more than 20 states, as well as in Puerto Rico. The
company also has rail-leasing interests in Canada and Mexico.
The diversified company operates through fivebusiness segments:
Grain Group (59% of 2015 sales), Ethanol Group (13%), Plant
Nutrient Group (20%), Retail Group (4%), and Rail Group (4%).
Its Grain Group is a significant investor in Lansing Trade
Group, an established commodity trading, grain handling, and
merchandising business with operations nationwide and with global
trading/merchandising offices. The Andersons holds an 85% interest
in The Andersons Denison Ethanol LLC (TADE), a 53% interest in The
Andersons Albion Ethanol LLC (TAAE), and a 38% interest in The
Andersons Clymers Ethanol LLC (TACE). Also the company has a 50%
stake in The Andersons Marathon Ethanol LLC (TAME) through its
majority-owned subsidiary The Andersons Ethanol Investment LLC
(TAEI). A third party owns 34% of TAEI.
The Plant Nutrient Group has farm centers located throughout
Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and Florida. The farm centers offer
agricultural fertilizer, chemicals, seeds, supplies, and custom
fertilizer application. The group also makes liquid anti-icers and
deicers for use on roads and runways. The Andersons' Retail Group
runs large retail home-center stores that serve the Toledo and
Columbus, Ohio, areas. The stores sell home-improvement products,
nursery stock, groceries, beverages, and other items.
The company's Rail Group sells, leases, repairs, and
reconfigures railcars and locomotives. The Group also provides
fleet management services and operates a custom steel-fabrication
business. The company also owns around a 50% stake in Iowa Northern
Railway Company (IANR), a 163-mile short-line railroad, which runs
through Iowa from northwest to southeast.
In 2017, the company announced it was in the second quarter
exiting its retail business, which includes closing its four
remaining stores and eliminating more than 1,000 positions. The
closures will not affect the company's remaining Grain, Ethanol,
Plant, and Rail operating groups.
Based in Ohio, The Andersons' main agricultural operations are
in Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Puerto Rico, Tennessee,
Texas, Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. Its
railcar operations, which include 16 repair facilities and a
fabrication shop, are primarily in the Midwest, South, and
The company's net sales fell 7.5% in 2015, the second year of
declining sales after steady growth since 2010. In 2015, sales slid
to $4.2 billion due to decreased Grain and Ethanol segment
The Grain Group sales and merchandising revenues decreased due
to lower corn prices. Lower production in the eastern corn
producing region resulted in lower supplies and lower prices. Lower
corn prices also led to lower ethanol sales. Rail Group sales
increased 15% from driven by higher-than-normal leasing
Andersons reported its first loss as a public company in 2014,
losing $13 million for the year. The company had a $54 million good
will impairment charge on its grain and farm center units and a $51
million pension settlement charge.
The Andersons generated $154 million in cash flow in 2015 and
sending out about $10 in cash in 2014.
The Andersons is looking to profit from macro-economic trends,
including world population growth, escalating demand for protein,
and increasing North American crop production. Its diverse
agribusiness and industrial based activities are all exposed to
these trends in one way or another, from handling bulk commodities
to using its rail cars and logistics assets to move them.
To cut down on costs, The Andersons routinely trims the
operations of non-core business. In 2017, the company announced it
was in the second quarter exiting its retail business, which
includes closing its four remaining stores and eliminating more
than 1,000 positions. The previous year The Andersons agreed to
sell eight of its Iowa facilities to MaxYield Cooperative of West
Bend, Iowa. The facilities came to Andersons with its 2012
acquisition of assets of Green Plains Grain Company. The
facilities, however, put pressure on the company's profits. The
Andersons maintains other Green Plain assets such as those in
Tennessee assets acquired during that same transaction will remain
a part of The Andersons. The deal does not affect the company's
ethanol facility or Nutra-Flo facilities in Iowa.
The companycombined its Turf & Specialty and Plant Nutrient
groups in 2015 to foster growth and enhance profitability. It plans
to grow the lawn and cob business by adding new products and
technology, and by seeking out opportunities to acquire new
businesses. Indeed, acquisitions in existing and new markets are
key to The Andersons' growth strategy.
A focus of the group in 2015 is to grow the rail fleet and
continue to look for opportunities to open new repair facilities
and other adjacent businesses. It also anticipates future repair
business related to potential mandated modifications in the tank
In 2015 The Andersons announced the establishment of Maumee
Ventures, a venture capital subsidiary of The Andersons designed to
foster promising innovations that strategically align with the
company's core businesses
Mergers and Acquisitions
Continuing to diversify, the company acquired Auburn Bean &
Grain, which added six grain and four agronomy locations in Central
Michigan and increased storage capacity and volume for the grain
and nutrient businesses. The acquisition fits geographically
between the company's Ohio and Michigan assets and Thompsons joint
venture in Ontario, Canada.
In 2015 The Andersons purchased Kay Flo Industries, Inc. and
certain subsidiaries for $125.2 million, including working
The Andersons was founded in Maumee, Ohio in 1947.