COFCO Corp, China’s largest grain trader, plans a public listing of some of its assets, including a majority stake in Noble Group Ltd’s agribusiness unit that it bought this year for $1.5 billion. The proposed spinoff highlights COFCO’s efforts to become a global agricultural producer and distributor, complementing its role as the State-run food supplier for the world’s biggest consumer of rice, soybeans and wheat. The listing could take about three years, according to Chairman Frank Ning, and in the meantime no more major acquisitions are planned “any time soon”, he said…Full Article: China Daily Oct 2014

Key Point

  • COFCO’s majority share acquisition of Nidera (Dutch) and Noble Group (Singapore/Hong Kong) was financed 60% by COFCO itself, and 40% by outside investors. This latter group included Hopu Investment Management Co. (Chinese private-equity firm), Temasek Holdings (Singapore state-owned investment firm), Standard Chartered Private Equity and the World Bank’s International Finance Corp.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In April 2014, COFCO acquired a 51% stake (estimated at US$1.5 billion) in Noble Group’s Agribusiness Division (trades in grains, oilseeds, sugar, cocoa, cotton, and coffee).
  • In February 2014, COFCO purchased a 51% stake (estimated at US$1.2 billion) in Nidera, a Dutch grain trading company.
  • In March 2013, COFCO announced that it received $4.82 billion in loans from the China Development Bank in order to stabilize food prices and improve productivity.
  • In November 2012, COFCO announced that for the next four years it had approximately US$10 billion to fund overseas mergers and acquisitions.

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