Wilbur-Ellis Agribusiness

Wilbur-Ellis Purchased Helm Fertilizers, Inc., a Major Retailer of Fertilizer and Agricultural Chemicals

August 31, 2000

Media Contact:
Courtney Chauvin

Management Supervisor

Peppercom on behalf of Wilbur-Ellis Company



Wilbur-Ellis Company Contact:

Jim Crawford

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Wilbur-Ellis Company



August 31, 2000

On August 31, 2000, Wilbur-Ellis Company completed the purchase of Helm Fertilizers, Inc., a major retailer of fertilizer and agricultural chemicals operating in the San Joaquin Valley. We are very pleased to be associated with a firm with such an impressive reputation, commented Wilbur-Ellis President and Chief Executive Officer Herbert B. Tully. “Helm Fertilizers has a successful record of customer service and coupled with our purchase in 1999 of John Taylor Fertilizers Co., Inc. in the Sacramento Valley and Soilserv, Inc. in the Salinas Valley, gives us an excellent network of locations to serve California agriculture.”

Helm Fertilizers, Inc., founded in 1979, is a full-service retailer of fertilizers and chemicals in the Central Valley. Raymond Maul, President of Helm Fertilizers, Inc., said “we are very enthusiastic about the future for these businesses.” He added that “the benefit from the combined operations represents a great opportunity for both our employees and customers.”

Helm Fertilizers operations will be consolidated with the Company’s Western Region branches located in the San Joaquin Valley and Northern Arizona. The combined retail locations will be managed by Raymond Maul and will operate as a business unit reporting to Dan Vradenburg, Vice President in charge of retail chemical and fertilizer operations in California, Arizona and Texas.

Founded in 1921 and with total sales exceeding $1.0 billion, Wilbur-Ellis Company specializes in the marketing, distribution and formulation of crop protection products, fertilizers and animal feed stuffs. Through its Connell Bros. Company division, Wilbur-Ellis exports industrial chemicals, minerals and fibers and certain animal feed stuffs throughout the Pacific Rim for numerous major U.S. companies.
For more information, please visit www.wilburellis.com