Abu Dhabi state-owned holding company takes 45% stake in Louis Dreyfus

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/AndreyPopov
© GettyImages/AndreyPopov

Related tags: Grain, Abu Dhabi, soybeans

Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, ADQ, has now significant interest in one of the world’s leading agri-commodities traders, Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), after agreeing to buy a 45% stake in the business.

This is the first time LDC has allowed a non-family shareholder to acquire such assets.

The deal is said to give the Geneva-headquartered group a major financial boost.

As part of this transaction, LDC has also signed a long-term commercial supply agreement with ADQ for the sale of agri-commodities such as grains and soybeans to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“LDC represents a strategic investment opportunity for ADQ,”​ said HE Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, ADQ’s CEO.

Established in Abu Dhabi in 2018, ADQ is one of the region's largest holding companies with direct and indirect investments in more than 90 companies locally and internationally.

Both an asset owner and investor, ADQ’s broad portfolio of major enterprises span key sectors of a diversified economy, including energy and utilities, food and agriculture, healthcare and pharma, and mobility and logistics, amongst others.

As a strategic partner of Abu Dhabi’s government, ADQ says it is committed to accelerating the transformation of the emirate into a globally competitive and knowledge-based economy.

The LDC deal follows the holding company’s move in May this year to purchase a 50% interest in one of the Middle East's biggest agribusinesses, Al Dahra, a company that cultivates and produces animal feed and food related commodities. 

Integrating feed, fibers and food ingredients business 

LDC said, upon deal finalization, a portion of the proceeds of the sale, amounting to a minimum of US$800m, will be invested into the business to support the pursuit of LDC’s long-term goals, including the acceleration of strategic investments.

“Our strategy aims to leverage global consumption trends through investments in new business opportunities, as the company embraces more of the agricultural value chain to become an increasingly integrated food, feed, fibers and ingredients company,”​ said Michael Gelchie, LDC’s Group CEO.

“The transaction announced today [Wednesday, November 11] constitutes a milestone in a decade-long strategy… which started with the consolidation of LDC’s parent company’s shareholding,”​ said Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, chairperson of the supervisory board of LDCH.

“As we embark on the next stage of LDC’s development, we look forward to working with ADQ toward the realization of that shared vision,”​ she added.

The deal is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

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