Share Name Share Symbol Market Type Share ISIN Share Description
Glencore LSE:GLEN London Ordinary Share JE00B4T3BW64 ORD USD0.01
  Price Change % Change Share Price Bid Price Offer Price High Price Low Price Open Price Shares Traded Last Trade
  -6.30p -2.12% 291.55p 297.90p 291.65p 305.30p 295.40p 303.95p 3,782,695,674 15:14:43
Industry Sector Turnover (m) Profit (m) EPS - Basic PE Ratio Market Cap (m)
Mining 152,130.6 5,124.2 30.4 9.1 41,567.73

Bunge Takeover Talks Bog Down -- WSJ

10/03/2018 8:02am

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By Jacob Bunge and Dana Mattioli 

This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (March 10, 2018).

Takeover talks between Bunge Ltd. and Archer Daniels Midland Co. have stalled, people familiar with the matter said, throwing into question a combination that could have formed one of the world's largest agricultural conglomerates.

The two companies, already among the biggest global traders and processors of farm commodities, have been unable to reach an agreement despite more than a month of negotiations, the people said. The Wall Street Journal reported in January that ADM had approached Bunge about a takeover of the company that would vastly expand ADM's reach into South American grain markets and boost its soybean-processing capabilities.

The talks had already been moving at a slow pace as the companies discussed ways to resolve potential pushback from antitrust and other authorities, the people said.

It isn't clear whether the talks will pick up again.

The development could ratchet up pressure on Bunge's management to explore other ways to boost its value, or find a different deal, as the agriculture industry remains under pressure from a global glut of crops. The White Plains, N.Y., company in February reported its net income in 2017 dropped to $160 million from $745 million, and Bunge last year unveiled a restructuring plan to cut $250 million in annual expenses by 2020.

Continental Grain Co., an investment firm that owns about 1.2% of Bunge's shares, on Monday won U.S. approval to purchase more stock, a sign it intends to push management to find a deal or another way to create value. Continental five years ago pushed for change at U.S. pork giant Smithfield Foods Inc., which eventually sold itself to a Chinese meat company.

Adding to the pressure on Bunge, its shares had climbed 11% since the ADM deal discussions surfaced. ADM's shares had gained about 8%, signaling that its shareholders also like the prospect of a deal. On Friday, Bunge shares settled 2.7% lower, while ADM shares were slightly higher.

But signs have emerged in recent weeks that business for Bunge and other crop processors could improve. Dry weather in Argentina is expected to damage that country's soybean crop, which analysts see as slowing global supply growth and improving profit margins for companies such as Bunge, the world's largest processor of soybeans.

The stalled talks between ADM and Bunge could provide an opening for mining conglomerate Glencore PLC, which operates an agricultural trading division that Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg has been eager to expand. Glencore last May confirmed it had approached Bunge about a deal after the Journal broke the news of the move.

Mr. Glasenberg recently said that an agreement by Glencore not to make a hostile bid for Bunge had expired, though he didn't comment on whether Glencore would re-engage with the company.

Mr. Glasenberg has been closely monitoring Bunge and ADM since news of their negotiations broke, people familiar with the matter have said.

Glencore hadn't made a renewed approach, they added.

ADM's interest in acquiring Bunge, one of its oldest and largest competitors, represented a potential strategic shift for the Chicago-based grain giant. Over the last five years, ADM has spent billions of dollars acquiring smaller companies focused on flavorings and specialty ingredients to build a business that could be more profitable and less volatile than buying and trading commodity crops such as corn and soybeans.

Purchasing Bunge would have marked a shift given its big presence in commodity trading. However, some ADM investors were drawn to the potential for cutting costs and running Bunge's operations more profitably.

Write to Jacob Bunge at jacob.bunge@wsj.com and Dana Mattioli at dana.mattioli@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 10, 2018 02:47 ET (07:47 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2018 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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