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Suedzucker to acquire 25 pct of ED&F Man

Suedzucker (SZUG.DE), Europe’s largest sugar company, is to buy a 25 percent stake minus one share in British commodities trading company ED&F Man for $255 million as part of a capital increase, the companies said last week.

“This transaction gives Suedzucker access to ED&F Man’s global trading network and thus a platform for further expanding its (Suedzucker’s) own business outside Europe,” the German firm said.

ED&F Man deals in agricultural commodities throughout the world including sugar, coffee and molasses and in the sugar trade is the world’s second-largest dealer, handling about 8.5 million tonnes in 2010, the companies said.

ED&F Man also holds majority and minority interests in production and refining operations, the total capacity of which is about 2.5 million tonnes of sugar.

“Suedzucker’s participation will strengthen ED&F Man’s capital base, improve its growth perspectives and enable it to seize opportunities in the rapidly changing commodity markets,” the companies said in a joint statement.

“Synergies will arise, especially in the areas of sugar production and refining, raw sugar procurement, logistics optimisation as well as animal feed sales and distribution,” they said.

The transaction is still conditional on getting the approval of the competition authorities.

Suedzucker’s core sugar activities are focused in Europe with 29 sugar factories and three refineries, extending from France, Belgium, Germany and Austria, through to Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, Bosnia and Moldova.

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