JAPAN – Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), a leading merchant and processor of agricultural goods has signed a joint venture agreement with Zephyr Japan, specialty coffee merchants based in Japan providing premium coffees to Japanese consumers.

The partnership represents LDC’s first venture in Japan, a fast-growing market for specialty coffees, aimed to position LDC to increase premium coffee flows into Japan and East Asian markets.

This another positive step forward for LDC’s specialty business, growing its market share in a segment specialty coffee market which is expected to exceed US$83 billion globally by 2025, with significant opportunities in Asia as coffee companies focus on offering customized, taste-based coffees to specific consumers in the region.

“We are excited to further extend our presence in Asia and enter the key consumer market for specialty coffees that is Japan, combining Zephyr Japan’s strong market knowledge and LDC’s expertise in sourcing top-quality, sustainably produced coffee beans,” said Ross Hawkins, LDC’s Global Head of Coffee Partnerships.

Zephyr Japan is an importer and distributor of green bean coffee from around the world.

“It is a great pleasure to enter into partnership with LDC, as both companies will complement each other’s expertise and capabilities.

“I am confident that this strategic partnership will create excellent opportunities for mutual growth while meeting the needs and expectations of Japanese consumers,” said Kurato Hashimoto, founder of Zephyr Japan.

Last month LDC also signed a joint venture agreement with private label coffee company Instanta to build and operate a freeze-dried instant coffee plant in Binh Duong province, Vietnam.

The joint venture will operate under the name ILD Coffee Vietnam, with construction expected to start in thefirst half of 2022

In other related news, Louis Dreyfus Company Holdings B.V. has concluded the sale of an indirect 45% equity stake in Louis Dreyfus Company B.V. (LDC) to Abu Dhabi-based ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies.

“The transaction completed today represents the start of a new chapter for LDC, as we welcome ADQ into our shareholder group and initiate a new phase of growth for the company, guided by a shared vision for LDC’s future,” said Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, Chairperson of the Supervisory Board.

LDC remains focused on putting its strategy into action, while fulfilling its key role to keep essential agricultural product supply chains moving safely, reliably and responsibly.

A portion of the transaction proceeds has been invested into LDC, in the form of an early and full repayment of a US$1.051 billion intragroup long-term loan granted by LDC to its parent company, originally maturing in 2023.

These funds will support the pursuit of the company’s long-term business plan and strategy including in new areas such as plant-based proteins, as well as in projects to move further downstream in several of its existing business lines.

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