Shopping spree means life is sweet for Bunge

Oilseed and grain processor Bunge has completed a brace of acquisitions in the sweeteners sector.

New York-based Bunge, which also supplies fertilisers, bought sweetener manufacturer Corn Products in a June deal worth $4.4 billion.

Corn Products, headquartered in Westchester, Illinois, supplies dextrose, starch, high fructose corn syrup and glucose.

Bunge said the deal would enhance and broaden its product portfolio and customer base at a time when the global market for starches and sweeteners is rising at 5% year on year. It would also result in a stronger presence in "attractive" countries, such as the US, Brazil and Argentina and an opportunity to make big cost savings through synergies.

"Combining with Corn Products provides a unique opportunity for Bunge to establish an integrated, global presence in the corn value chain, which is highly complementary to our existing operations," said Alberto Weisser, Bunge's chairman and chief executive officer. "Corn Products is the leading pure-play franchise in corn refining and will add higher-margin starch and sweetener products to Bunge's product portfolio, expand our operations in important growth markets, and diversify our revenue stream with a solid cash flow business."

Sam Scott, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Corn Products International, said: "I am excited by this combination. Our stockholders will have an ongoing equity interest in a combined company that is well-positioned to serve customers around the world with a broad product portfolio, integrated distribution network and innovative products."

Last week, Bunge revealed it had also acquired the international sugar trading business of UK-based Tate & Lyle, a rival to Corn Products.

Bunge said the deal would allow it to "create and stronger network for sugar orientation in Brazil, Thailand and other geographies."

"Bunge's strategy is to expand into complementary value chains, and sugar is an essential one," said Archie Gwathmey, co-CEO, Bunge Global Agribusiness. "In the past two years we have established a sugar marketing and trading operation and purchased a sugarcane mill in Brazil. Strengthening our global team is a natural next step."

Iain Ferguson, chief executive of Tate & Lyle, said: "The recent sale of our sugar businesses in the Americas, and the restrictions on exports from our EU cane sugar refineries, which were implemented as part of the EU sugar regime reforms, have reduced the value of international sugar trading to Tate & Lyle."

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