China’s Cofco buys remainder of grain trader Nidera

23.08.2016

China’s state-owned food group Cofco has bought the remaining 49 per cent stake in Nidera, completing a full takeover of the Dutch grain trader and further expanding its global footprint.

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The deal, announced on Tuesday, is the latest acquisition from Cofco as China attempts to build a full-scale international agricultural trading house. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, writes David Sheppard.

Matt Jansen, the head of the Cofco Agri trading division, said three months ago there was “no rush” to buy the remaining stake in Nidera, warning of overpaying, but on Tuesday described the acquisition as a “transformative” for Cofco’s plans.

“In business, you have to change in order to improve,” Mr Jansen said. “In this instance, we are going beyond incremental improvements – this is a transformative deal that will help us evolve and thrive over the long-term. Our combination enlarges the playing field and opens up new opportunities that were previously closed to us.”

Earlier this year Cofco completed the buyout of its agricultural joint venture with the Hong Kong-based trader Noble Group, paying $750m for the 49 per cent it did not already own.

Patrick Yu, president of Cofco and chairman of the trading arm, said the deal with Nidera would speed the integration of Cofco’s various parts:

This acquisition represents an important accomplishment for COFCO International as we continue to realize our vision of building a world-class global agri-business.

Credit Suisse acted as financial adviser to Cygne BV, the founding family shareholders of Nidera, on the sale of the stake.


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