PARIS Dec 4 Louis Dreyfus Commodities has completed a 500 million euro ($678 million) bond issue, the trading firm's third foray into bond markets in just over a year as it seeks to increase its financing muscle.
Louis Dreyfus is the "D" of the so-called ABCD majors that dominate global trade in agricultural products, a quartet that also comprises Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge and Cargill.
As competition has intensified to secure farm-sector assets in response to rising global food demand, privately-held Louis Dreyfus has turned to bonds to support higher investments.
The Netherlands-based company, which issued bonds for the first time in its 150-year history in September 2012, said on Wednesday it had wrapped up the 500 million euro issue of a seven-year Eurobond listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange.
"Market conditions enabled us to seize the opportunity to pursue the diversification of Louis Dreyfus Commodities' funding sources and extend the company's long term debt maturity," Chief Financial Officer Claude Ehlinger said in a statement.
The order book for the issue peaked at over 1.8 billion euros, he added.
IFR had reported last week the launch of the bond issue, saying it was expected to raise 300 million to 500 million euros.
Last year, Louis Dreyfus said it aimed to increase investments in the five years from 2012 by 40 percent compared with 2006-2011.
In a prospectus accompanying the bond issue, the firm said its strategy aimed to reinforce its reach along the supply chain, by picking up assets from orange groves to sugar refineries, and to expand in high-growth regions like Asia and the Black Sea zone.
It announced in October a joint venture with Brooklyn Kiev LLC to develop and manage a multi-commodity terminal at the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Odessa.
In its inaugural bond issue last year, Louis Dreyfus raised $350 million in a hybrid perpetual bond listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange. It then raised 400 million euros in July 2013 via a 5-year Eurobond listed in Luxembourg.