G.S. Dunn, the world's largest dry mustard miller, has been sold to Parrish & Heimbecker in a hostile takerover.
By Eric McGuinness
Published July 20, 2012
Logo: G.S. Dunn, Dry Mustard Millers
G.S. Dunn Ltd (gsdunn.com) has a new owner, according to news reports.
It's a company as old as Canada, a fixture at 80 Park Street North in downtown Hamilton, the world's largest dry mustard miller and the inspiration for Hamilton's late, lamented Mustard Festival.
The Alberta Farmer Express website reported on July 6 that G.S. Dunn's parent company, Thirdcoast Ltd ([thirdcoast.ca(http://thirdcoast.ca)), had given in to a hostile takeover bid by Parrish & Heimbecker Ltd (parrishandheimbecker.com), which the Globe and Mail describes as a $2-billion, family-owned, agribusiness giant.
Thirdcoast conceded defeat after the Ontario Securities Commission slapped a July 4 cease-trade order on a Thirdcoast shareholder rights plan or poison pill, adopted to block P&H.
The Welland Tribune reported on July 13 that P&H had by then acquired all the shares of Thirdcoast for just over $28 million. It said the purchase included G.S. Dunn and the other Thirdcoast subsidiary, Southpier Terminals ([southpier.ca(http://southpier.ca)).
Southpier Terminals, Port Colborne
Southpier, which began operating in 1898 as the Goderich Elevator and Transit Co., has grain handling, processing and storage facilities in Goderich and Port Colborne.
Joe Lannan, Southpier's Port Colborne manager, told the Tribune that no major changes were planned. "It's just that we have a new change of directors, basically," he said.
G.S. Dunn has milled Prairie-grown mustard seed and processed mustard products in Hamilton since 1867.
P&H Hamilton Terminal
In the fall of 2010, P&H opened a Hamilton grain-storage facility consisting of two nine-storey-tall concrete domes, each as big across as a football field, on the Hamilton Port Authority's Pier 10 at the foot of Wellington Street.
Sean Silcoff reported in the Globe and Mail on July 2 that the takeover fight was sparked by the impending end of the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly, which could jeopardize a steady supply of grain to P&H's Ontario flour mills.
Goderich Southside Harbour
His story said P&H wanted the Goderich elevators in addition to its Hamilton terminal, so it could store enough grain to keep its mills working through the winter, when shipping stops on the Great Lakes.
By acquiring Thirdcoast, P&H automatically acquired G.S. Dunn, although the mustard miller wasn't at the centre of the deal, but maybe P&H's Butterball brand turkey franks will soon be sold complete with mustard.