COFCO Corp, China’s biggest foodstuff conglomerate by revenue, announced its overseas investment and management platform COFCO International has agreed to sell seed business of grain trader Nidera BV to agribusiness giant Syngenta AG on Monday [6 November 2017]. COFCO International had completed a full takeover of the Netherlands-based grain trader in February this year…Full Article: Nov 2017

Key Points

  • COFCO has been suffering financial losses from Nidera’s Latin American operations.
  • In 2019, according to the President of COFCO Corporation, COFCO International should be listed on a stock exchange. In the meantime, Nidera and Noble Group will be merging into COFCO International.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In August 2017, COFCO International (subsidiary of COFCO Group) signed a grain supply partnership with Growmark, an Illinois-based agricultural cooperative. As a result of the agreement, Growmark will assist COFCO’s Saint Louis office in sourcing grain. In 2016, COFCO acquired a grain terminal near the Port of Saint Louis due to its 2016 acquisition of Nidera. Also during August 2017, COFCO announced it was looking to sell Nidera’s Latin American seeds business.
  • In May 2017, China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina) announced it would acquire 94.7% of Syngenta.
  • In February 2017, COFCO completed its takeover of Nidera.
  • In August 2016, COFCO announced it would buy out the remaining outstanding stake in Nidera BV from Cygne BV. During the same month, USA’s CFIUS approved of ChemChina’s acquisition of Syngenta.
  • In October 2015, a “rogue trader” from Nidera BV (COFCO-owned) lost $200 million in biofuels. According to the Nidera CEO, the financial losses were noticed after global biofuel prices dropped in early 2015.
  • In February 2014, COFCO purchased a 51% stake (estimated at US$1.2 billion) in Nidera, a Dutch grain trading company. As a result, COFCO will be able to source oilseeds, corn, soybeans, and edible oils directly from Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay.
  • Founded in 1952 and headquartered in Beijing, COFCO is the largest supplier of products/services in the agricultural products and food industry in China. COFCO serves as the main importing and exporting channel for bulk agricultural products such as wheat, corn, rice and sugar. As an investment holding company specialized in trade and processing of oil and foodstuff as well as other businesses.

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