Bunge-Senwes deal passed
Business Day - Sep 23rd 2011, 10:16
The Competition Commission has approved a joint-venture agreement between global agribusiness and food company Bunge Europe and South African agribusiness company Senwes to develop grain and oilseed operations in SA.
The green light has been given by the commission, which issued a merger clearance certificate yesterday — five months after the parties announced they had concluded the agreement for the procurement and marketing of grain and oilseed operations in SA and other countries on the continent.
In a joint statement yesterday, the companies said they were delighted with the outcome and said the transaction would become effective next month.
Senwes MD Francois Strydom said Senwes would benefit from Bunge’s expertise and capabilities in international grain and oilseed origination, logistics and risk management. "Senwes is excited to be able to share in this opportunity, as its growth strategy of product and market risk diversification is being executed amidst volatile and uncertain global economic times."
Bunge Europe CEO Jean-Louis Gourbin said that the venture represented a solid platform for Bunge’s growth in southern Africa. "Bunge has found the right partner to expand its activities in the region and complement its expertise and competitive advantages in logistics, access to global markets and risk management."
With about 32000 employees in more than 30 countries, Bunge buys, sells, stores and transports oilseeds and grains worldwide. It processes oilseeds to make protein meal for animal feed and edible oil products for commercial customers and consumers. It also produces sugar and ethanol from sugar cane, mills wheat and maize to make ingredients used by food companies, and sells fertiliser in North and South America.
New York-based Bunge has long been a leading supplier of grains, edible oils and other products to the Middle East and North Africa. Early this year, it entered into talks with Senwes to form a joint venture in SA, making this its first entry into sub-Saharan Africa’s grain and oilseed trade.
Bunge has a distribution business in Egypt. It also has a joint venture called Bunge Maroc Phosphore, with Office Cherifien Des Phosphates, which produces fertiliser products in Morocco for shipment to Bunge companies in Brazil, Argentina and other markets in Latin America, excluding Mexico.
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