LONDON, March 27 U.S. agribusiness company
Cargill said on Thursday it was forming a joint sugar trading
business with Brazil's Copersucar in a move that will create one
of the world's largest traders of the sweetener.
Both companies have suffered severe setbacks in their sugar
businesses with a fire at Copersucar's sugar terminal in Brazil
last year paralyzing operations for months.
Cargill had a major shake-up of its sugar trading activities
in late 2011, a period which saw the company post its worst
quarterly performance in a decade with sugar losses among
Top trader Jonathan Drake left the company in late 2011 and
was replaced by Ivo Sarjanovic who will be appointed chief
executive officer once the new company is formed.
"The destruction of the terminal weakened them (Copersucar)
enough so they had no choice," one U.S. trader said.
The joint venture, in which both companies will own a
50-percent stake, is expected to be completed in the second half
of this year.
Both companies ethanol businesses and fixed assets, such as
terminals and mills, are excluded from the transaction.
Cargill is also exiting coal trading and will stop dealing
in gas and power in Europe, the global commodities giant said on
Thursday, becoming the latest company to step away from the
sectors that have been hit by falling margins.
The privately-held firm, which employs 140,000 people in 65
countries, said its Energy, Transportation and Metals (ETM)
division would close the businesses following a review that
identified limited long-term opportunities in the sectors.
(Reporting by Nigel Hunt, editing by William Hardy)