Glencore Agriculture, commodity trading company Glencore’s non-consilidated agriculture joint venture, has confirmed it has approached agri and food firm Bunge with an informal takeover offer.
Confirmed by Glencore in a statement on 23 May, the company said it had “made an informal approach to Bunge Limited regarding a possible consensual business combination”, but added that “discussions may or may not materialise and there is no certainty that any transaction will occur”.
However, Bunge appeared reserved in its reply, published by the company on the same day, which stated was not engaged in business combination discussions with Glencore.
“Bunge is committed to continuing to execute its global agri-foods strategy and pursuing opportunities for driving growth and value creation,” Bunge said.
The approach came in the wake of several years of low commodity prices and bumper crops that have put pressure on the world’s largest oilseed and grains traders, Oilseed & Grain News wrote, comparing the situation to that in the agri-chem and seed sectors, which has brought on several large-scale mergers, including Dow and DuPont, Syngenta and ChemChina, and Bayer and Monsanto.
Bunge’s CEO Soren Schroeder confirmed this view in a Fox Business News interview and agreed that the grains industry would see a wave of consolidation, saying: “It is very clear that there are too many, too many trying to do the same thing with a small margin.
Should the takeover materialise, it would see Glencore, which generated US$21.9bn in agricultural revenues in 2016, enter the US market and strengthen its presence in the Americas, Russia and Australia, according to Oilseed & Grain News.
Glencore sold a 9.99% stake in its agriculture unit to Canada’s British Columbia Investment Management Corp (bcIMC) for US$624.9M in June 2016 and a 40% stake to Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for US$2.5bn two months prior in April 2016 in order to cut its US$30bn debt load.