Cargill sells stake in Alvean joint venture to Brazilian partner Copersucar

BRAZIL – Agricultural commodities trading giant, Cargill has agreed to offload its 50% stake in the Alvean sugar trading joint venture to its Brazilian partner and world’s largest sugar and ethanol company, Copersucar.

Upon completion of the transaction, Cargill will exit the global sugar trading business, in line with its strategic goal of focusing more on its core food, agriculture, and trading businesses.

The agricultural commodities traders however say that it will remain active in both global commodity trading as well as the sugar ingredient business in Brazil, Mexico, and the US.

Alvean joint venture was formed in 2014 when Cargill and Copersucar announced plans to combine their global sugar trading operations under the 50:50 venture.

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According to Reuters, Alvean moves around 12 million tonnes of sugar per year, equivalent to around 20% of the global trade of the sweetener.

Following the transaction, Alvean will be under full-ownership of Copersucar though a source at  Copersucar told Reuters that the company is open to evaluate opportunities for a potential strategic partner in Alvean in the future.

The financial terms of the deal – which requires regulatory approval by Brazilian antitrust agency CADE – have not been disclosed.

The agreement comes after another agricultural commodity trading giant Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) made a deal to sell the business and assets of Imperial Sugar Company to Florida-based agribusiness US Sugar.

Meanwhile, Cargill has announced plans to purchase Canadian crop inputs retailer Precision Ag, World Grain has reported.

Precision Ag is a crop inputs-focused business that was founded in 1994 and has operated as a 50/50 joint venture with Cargill for 22 years.

The business offers crop nutrition, crop protection and seed, which it sells to farms representing approximately 600,000 acres.

Earlier, Cargill also announced that it had partnered with MacDonalds to work with beef farmers and ranchers to support a C$5 million Forage Program that works to return 125,000 acres of cropland to grass and pasture by 2025.

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The project, according to the commodity trader, is an effort to mitigate climate change effects by rehabilitating less productive soil to perennial grass that will remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

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