China buys majority stake in grain trader Nidera: reports

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 February, 2014, 9:20am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 February, 2014, 10:18am

China’s state-owned grain trader has acquired a majority stake in Dutch trader Nidera, ending weeks of speculation over the deal, Argentinian media reported on Wednesday.

China National Cereals, Oils and Foodstuffs Corporation paid between US$1 and 2 billion for a 51 per cent stake in Rotterdam-based grain trader, several unidentified industry insiders told La Nacion, a leading national daily. The business daily El Cronista also reported the sale.

Negotiations started last year when Cofco intended to buy a minority stake at $250 million in Nidera, several reports said. On Thursday, the two companies were in the final stages of talks on the deal, Reuters reported at the time.

The deal will give China's largest grain trader access to South American soybean, corn, wheat and biofuel seeds.

Nidera was established in 1920 in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, and has been operating in Argentina as a grain trader since 1929, where it currently is the largest seller of seeds.

The acquisition of Nidera is the first of its kind by a Chinese company in Argentina, La Nacion said. In September last year, Bayer AG was rumoured to negotiate with Nidera over buying a stake in the trader. 

Nidera trades more than 33 million tons in grains annually, according to its website. The company did not immediately reply to a request for comment. Cofco is the largest shareholder of China Mengiu Dairy, the country's largest milk producer.

The deal is set to be officially announced on Friday or during the weekend, unidentified sources told El Cronista.