Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Glencore eying Bunge

Glencore Plc, the miner and commodities trader led by billionaire Ivan Glasenberg, has made a takeover approach for U.S. grain trader Bunge Ltd., reports Bloomberg news agency.

It’s not saying how it found out, other than from “a person with knowledge of the situation, asking not to be named discussing a private matter.”

Bunge, based in White Plains, New York, has a market value of about $11.3 billion.

The shares jumped as much as 17 percent Tuesday after the Wall Street Journal reported Glencore’s approach.

Bunge didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. A Glencore official declined to comment.

Last month, Chris Mahoney, who runs Glencore’s agriculture unit, said in an interview that the company was trying to expand in the U.S., the world’s largest grain market.

"If we could fill the gap and adhere to our returns threshold, we will do it, but it’s proving not so easy," he said.

“We have looked in the U.S., it’s no secret. There aren’t any willing sellers.”

Last year Glencore was talking about selling its agriculture operations to reduce its debts in the face of declining fortunes in mining.

It bought Viterra, which rolled three Prairie wheat pools – the Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta wheat pools - into one company.

Little more than a year ago, the Canada Pension Plan paid $2.5 billion for 40 per cent of Glencore’s agriculture division.