Ridley Inc.
TSX : RCL

Ridley Inc.

October 01, 2007 22:18 ET

Ridley Inc. Announces Appointments to Its Board of Directors

MANKATO, MINNESOTA and WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Oct. 1, 2007) - Ridley Inc. (TSX:RCL) today announced the appointment of Brian Hayward as Director and Chairman of the Board and Chris Martin and Wayne Harden as Directors, effective immediately.

Mr. Hayward's appointment follows the retirement of Dr. John Keniry of Sydney, Australia who had been a Director and Ridley's Non-Executive Chairman since the initial public offering and listing of Ridley Inc.'s common shares on the TSX in 1997. Also retiring from the Board are Dick Dawson and Cam Brown, who had also been Directors of the Company since mid-1997.

As members of the Board Messrs. Keniry, Dawson and Brown were instrumental in Ridley achieving its strategic objective during its first decade as a public company to aggressively and profitably grow to be a leader in its principal market and product lines in North America. In that period Ridley's revenues grew from Cdn. $137 million to over U.S. $531 million for the year ended June 30, 2007. As a result, Ridley has become one of the largest and most successful feed manufacturers in North America with both a strong and vigorous balance sheet and working capital position. Employees increased from 830 in 35 facilities to 1056 currently employed in 46 facilities in North America, including 22 production plants in the United States and 12 in Canada, ranging from Linden, Alberta to Buffalo, Texas and from Stockton, California to Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In spite of this growth, the "Safety First" program initiated by the Board has resulted in a 40% reduction in the Company's total recordable injury rate over the last year and Ridley is well on its way to achieving its goal of becoming a world class safety conscious company. Major strategic acquisitions completed during their tenure include Hubbard Milling Company, Macleod Feed Mill, Wayne Feeds, Shamrock Feeds, Heartland Feeds, Sweetlix and Farmway Feeds.

Mr. Hayward was the Chief Executive Officer of Agricore United until June, 2007 and is a director of several other Canadian corporations. Mr. Hayward said, "I would like to acknowledge the outstanding leadership contribution of Messrs Keniry, Brown, and Dawson and in particular their stewardship of the organization, sometimes through difficult market circumstances. I'm looking forward to building on their legacy of change and growth and working with my colleagues and management as we position Ridley Inc. to take advantage of the opportunities before us in an exciting time for agricultural markets."

Mr. Martin was Vice-President, Corporate Affairs and General Counsel to Agricore United until June, 2007. He has served on the boards of a number of agriculture industry companies, is a lawyer and a Chartered Director. Mr. Harden spent his professional career with the Scotiabank Group and was the Managing Director of Scotia Capital in Winnipeg, where he headed up the bank's corporate banking activities for the agri-business sector in Western Canada, until his retirement in 2004. He also operates a grain farm in Manitoba.

Dr. Keniry said, "The other retiring directors and I are pleased to have the experience and calibre of these three directors on the Board of Ridley Inc. during this period of renewal in the North American agriculture sector."

In a tribute to the retiring Directors, Ridley's President and Chief Executive Officer, Steve VanRoekel said "Personally, and on behalf of the Ridley organization and all of its stakeholders, I would like to thank John, Dick and Cam for their support and wise counsel over the years. We welcome the new Directors and the opportunity of working with them to continue to grow our Company".

Messrs. Hayward, Martin and Harden (all of Winnipeg, Manitoba), along with current Board members Dr. Larry Martin (Guelph, Ontario) and Matthew Bickford-Smith (Sydney, Australia) comprise the Board of Ridley Inc.

Ridley Inc., (www.ridleyinc.com), headquartered in Mankato, Minnesota and Winnipeg, Manitoba, is one of North America's leading commercial animal nutrition companies. Ridley Inc. manufactures and/or distributes a full range of animal nutrition products under a number of highly regarded trade names.

Contact Information