Members support cooperative merger

Staff report

PIQUA — Members of two of the largest cooperatives in Ohio approved the merger that will unify their businesses. Sunrise and Trupointe cooperative member votes were counted in a special meeting held recently, at each corporate office in Fremont and Piqua. Of the ballots returned, 64.0 percent of Sunrise membership and 73.9 percent of Trupointe membership were in favor of merging. Both numbers exceed the minimum requirements to move the merger forward.

The member support of this merger shows that the cooperative vision for our future is aligned with that of our membership says Larry Hammond, president and CEO of Trupointe. “Our membership is the foundation of our cooperatives. We are excited to bring this new venture together, which we believe will create additional opportunity for increased member value.”

“This merger really was and is about creating more for our members together than we could separately,” says George Secor, president and CEO of Sunrise. “As we move forward we will work hard to deliver on that promise for our members.”

Through joining these cooperatives, a number of benefits to the membership are expected.

• Stronger Equity – continued ability to return profits to membership as well as timely equity redemption.

• Asset Investments – increased ability for greater investments in facilities and assets.

• Marketplace Momentum – access to key partnership and product supply chains, increasing opportunity and innovation availability.

The new cooperative will begin operations Sept. 1, 2016, under the leadership of George Secor (presiding CEO of Sunrise Cooperative). First actions of the new Board of Directors will be to select the headquarters location and identify the cooperative’s name. Jointly, the cooperative will boast more than $900 million in sales.

“This is a merger of equals and intention, not necessity. The fact that we were both able to select a partner who paralleled our strengths and vision for the future is one of the strongest ways to begin a new venture,” said Secor.

Staff report