Cargill and Bunge propose deal for European oilseed facilities

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock
© iStock

Related tags Cargill Soybean

Cargill is set to sell two Europe-based oilseed processing plants and businesses to Bunge, as the company reassesses its EMEA strategy.

The potential agreement was announced on Friday.

The two processing plants are located in the Netherlands and France, however, the company remains committed to both work in those countries and the overall Europe, Middle East and African (EMEA) region, said a spokesperson with Cargill. “We made strategic choices about our asset footprint in the EMEA region,” ​she added on why the decision was made.

The facilities have an annual processing capacity of about 2m tons, said Cargill. The company is not releasing information regarding individual facility crush capability or sale price, the spokesperson added.

“We remain committed to serving refined oil customers via its network of facilities and continue to make significant investments in the region,”​ the spokesperson told FeedNavigator.

Sale details

The facilities involved in the proposed sale include a soybean and rapeseed crush and soybean oil refining facility located in the Port of Amsterdam along with a portion of the bulk port terminal assets involved with the discharge and storage of raw materials to be used in the crush plant, the companies said in a joint release. In France they would include a soybean and rapeseed crush facilities in the Port of Brest.

For Cargill, the proposed sale comes after investment in expanding the company’s crush footprint in several areas including Russia and Egypt, said the spokesperson. The agro-giant also has developed joint ventures in port terminal facilities in Russian, Romania and the Ukraine.

“We also have an extensive network of plants processing soft seeds (sunflower, rapeseed) across Europe and we continue to focus on serving our customers and growing our longer term business in this sector​,” she said.

The Minnesota-headquartered company is set to keep soybean processing properties in the ports of Barcelona and Liverpool that are an established part Cargill’s business network providing for the feed and food sectors in Spain and the UK, the company said the in release. It also is looking to continue growing business in the area.

The company will continue to employ more than 2,000 people at locations across the Netherlands including in Amsterdam, Bergen op Zoom, Deventer, Rotterdam,  Botlek, Sas van Gent, Schiphol, Swalmen, Velddriel Wormer and Zaandam, said the spokesperson. “Today we are engaged in the production of food ingredients and the processing, distribution and trading of a variety of agricultural products,”​ she added.

Additionally, Cargill has been active in France for many years and would continue to own 19 sites with about 2,000 employees, she said.

“There are many recent examples of our investments that confirm our commitment and confidence in the French market,” ​the spokesperson said. “In Montoir-de-Bretagne we increased the capacity of our rapeseed processing facility; we made investments to our oil crushing and refining facility in Saint-Nazaire to increase its competitiveness.”

Bunge was interested in the facilities because they complement the company’s current soy processing operations in Europe, it said in the release. “Industrial operations and business activities will be integrated within Bunge’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regional operations and global soy crush platform, and Bunge is looking forward to welcoming the experienced and skilled employees of the two sites,”​ it added.

The additional capacity is expected to help the New York-headquarter company grow its oilseed processing footprint in Northern Europe and improve its presence in the European protein market, the company said. The move also is predicted to help with global flow and logistics.

Sale process

Now that the decision has been announced, Cargill employees at the facilities involved are set to transition to being Bunge employees, the companies said. Cargill currently is working with its employee representative bodies in France and the Netherlands.

The consultation process and the steps of the anti-trust approval process are expected to take several months to complete, the spokesperson said.

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