The Canadian Wheat Board is purchasing a grain-handling company in western Saskatchewan as part of a privatization plan.

The federally-owned grain marketer says it will buy all of the common shares of Great Sandhills Terminal Ltd. for $17.4 million pending approval by shareholders.

The deal includes a grain-handling facility near Leader, Sask., and a shortline railway in the region.

Dayna Spiring, the CWB's chief strategy officer, says the purchase strengthens the board's network, which includes other grain facilities in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec.

Spiring suggests the board wants to add a facility in Alberta to its network.

Under federal law, the CWB is to be privatized no later than August 2017, but the board says it expects to beat that deadline.