China’s state-owned agricultural trader COFCO Corp announced on 23 August that it had taken full ownership of Netherlands-based grain trader Nidera NV following an agreement to buy the 49% share it didn’t already own from Cygne BV, a company controlled by the family that founded Nidera.
The deal for an undisclosed sum is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter, subject to regulatory approvals.
It follows in the wake of COFCO’s buy-out of the Noble Group’s agricultural unit in March for US$750M to form COFCO Agri, giving COFCO full ownership of two leading global agri-businesses.
“This acquisition represents an important accomplishment for COFCO International as we continue to realise our vision of building a world-class global agribusiness,” said Patrick Yu, president of COFCO, chairman of COFCO International and chairman of Nidera’s supervisory board.
COFCO will start to integrate COFCO International, COFCO Agri and Nidera when the deal closes, led by COFCO International CEO Matt Jansen.
“Our combination enlarges the playing field and opens up new opportunities that were previously closed to us as separate companies, but that we can now pursue together,” he said. “This significantly accelerates the progress we have made in building a global leader in the international agricultural and food products industries.”
COFCO International is the overseas investment and management platform for the agribusinesses of COFCO, including COFCO Agri, which trades and processes a wide range of agricultural products including grains, oilseeds, sugar, cocoa, coffee and cotton. COFCO Agri had sales of US$16.9bn last year. It has been expanding into its singular lacking region – North America – with the establishment of a US ethanol trading desk in May and the opening of its first trade office in Canada in June (see News, OFI July/August 2016).
Nidera had an annual turnover of US$18.5bn in 2015 but posted its first loss in five years as well after a rouge trader incurred losses of some US$200M in the biofuels market. COFCO bought its initial 51% stake in Nidera in 2014 for a reported US$2.4bn.