Zen-Noh Grain Corp has acquired 35 US interior elevators from Bunge North America, World Grain reported on 22 April.

The completion of the sale was subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval, World Grain said.

Zen-Noh Grain Corp (ZGC) is a subsidiary of the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations of Japan (Zen-Noh) and Bunge North America is a subsidiary of St Louis-based global agribusiness Bunge Ltd.

Speaking about the agreement, Greg Heckman, chief executive officer of Bunge, said: “This transaction will allow Bunge to operate more efficiently and reinvest in higher returning areas of the company while reducing costs and strengthening our balance sheet.

“Bunge will continue to be an industry leader in the US grain marketplace through global grain trading and distribution with our export terminals in Destrehan, Louisiana, which we are expanding, and EGT, our joint venture in the Pacific Northwest. We will also continue our strong presence in the soyabean processing business and milling operations.”

ZGC said its affiliate, CGB Enterprises Inc, Covington, Louisiana, would operate the acquired facilities through its wholly owned subsidiary, Consolidated Grain and Barge Co (CGB). CGB currently operated more than 100 grain origination facilities in the USA.

Bunge said it would be able to access a larger and stronger origination and distribution network through Zen-Noh, through certain supply agreements, to better serve US farmers and global export customers.

In addition to the export terminals in Destrehan and the EGT joint venture, Bunge would retain ownership in Bunge-SCF Grain, Bunge’s joint venture with SCF, and the Bunge elevators in Indiana that directly supported Bunge’s soyabean processing plant in Morristown.

Bunge had been cutting costs and shedding non-core assets in recent years, World Grain reported, as a sharp downturn in grain prices had squeezed margins for the company.

The company had ended its 13-year ownership interest in an Iowa ethanol plant in January and had sold its Brazilian margarine business in December, World Grain reported.