Bunge has announced that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of an approximately 55 per cent controlling stake in Cereol, a leading oilseed processor andn unit of Edison, for €449.2 million cash.
As required by French law, Bunge intends to make an offer to purchase, at the same price of €32 per share, for approximately 45 per of the Cereol shares that remain publicly held. Assuming 100 per cent of the outstanding shares are purchased as part of this process, the total price paid by Bunge for Cereol's equity will be €821.4 million.
In addition, Bunge may pay up to an additional €3 per share to Edison and Cereol shareholders upon the resolution of a pending arbitration against Cereol. Bunge has also agreed to pay an additional €14 million to Edison in exchange for a non-compete agreement.
Bunge will assume Cereol's outstanding debt upon closing. Bunge intends to finance the acquisition with available cash and borrowings.
Bunge has received antitrust clearance for the acquisition from the United States and Canadian antitrust authorities, the European Commission and several other countries.
The transaction makes Bunge the world's leading oilseed processing company, with integrated operations across key geographic regions. The acquisition increases Bunge's scale and efficiency, expands its global reach and will result in a more stable financial profile due to better geographic balance and a wider product portfolio.
In 2001, Bunge, already the largest soybean processor in the Americas and the largest producer and supplier of fertilizers to South American farmers, reported net sales of $11.5 billion (€11.7bn) and operating income of $527 million.
Bunge also announced that Carl Hausmann, chairman and chief executive officer of Cereol, will continue in that position and will also serve as CEO of the newly created Bunge Europe. Hausmann will join the Bunge Executive Committee.