Cargill to sell global malt business to French cereals firm Axereal

FRANCE – Global agribusiness giant has said that it has agreed to sell its malt business to France-based cereals cooperative Axereal’s malt subsidiary, Boortmalt.

The transaction involves the global malt business, including 15 facilities across four continents, representing more than 500 people.

The acquisition strengthens Boortmalt’s capacity and capability in serving the brewing industry across the globe, with opportunities to grow the malt business further.

Cargill Malt serves the brewing, food, and beverage industries by originating and transforming malting barley into malt.

The agreement, subject to information and/or consultation procedures with the appropriate employee representative bodies boosts Boortmalt’s leadership in the malting industry.

Completion of the transaction awaits clearance and approval from certain regulatory agencies, and is expected to close in the second half of 2019.

Cargill which is the largest privately held corporation in the United States and the world’s third-largest maltster is said have a combined malting capacity of about 1.55 million tons.

Earlier this year, it was reported that the company was exploring options to exit malt business including a potential divestment of part or all of its malting operations globally.

Cargill’s global malting business is estimated at US$1 billion with operations in Belgium, Spain, Germany, France and the Netherlands, Australia, Canada and Argentina.

In the last 10 years Cargill closed operations in USA, Russia and Australia with a combined capacity of more than 700,000 tons of malt and had announced plans to close its 400,000 tons Spiritwood plant in North Dakota by the end of October 2018, which had been one of the largest malting plants in the world.

In October, Australia’s largest grain handler GrainCorp was said to be considering to buy Cargill Malt as a whole but backed down after receiving a takeover bid from a private equity firm.

With the Cargill Malt business, Boortmalt is set to become the number one in the worldwide malt business with a combined tonnage of about 2.9 million tons of malt.

Other closer players are Malteries Soufflet and Malteurop.

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