Land O'Lakes is buying Purina Mills, the nation's largest feed company, for about $230 million.

Under the deal announced Monday, the Arden Mills, Minn., agricultural cooperative will pay $23 per share in cash for each of Purina Mills' 10 million shares of common stock. St. Louis-based Purina Mills, which makes Chow-brand animal feeds, will become part of Land O'Lakes Farmland Feed LLC following the acquisition.

The Purina Mills product lines, brands, nationwide dealer network and red-and-white checkerboard logo will be maintained, says Jack Gherty, president and chief executive officer of Land O'Lakes. Purina Mills will continue to be based in St. Louis, with its own sales and marketing team.

The deal is subject to approval by the shareholders of Purina Mills. Major shareholders include GSCP Recovery, which owns about 28 percent of the company and is supporting the deal. Last month Cargill acquired an 8.6 percent stake.

For more information on the proposed sale, go to the Land O’Lakes Web site at www.landolakesinc.com or Purina Mills site at www.purinamills.com

Associated Press