PARIS, April 1 Louis Dreyfus Commodities would
consider a share listing or tie-up with a partner as it leaves
open options for developing the 163-year-old family-owned firm,
main shareholder Margarita Louis-Dreyfus said in a newspaper
Louis Dreyfus is the "D" of the so-called ABCD majors that
dominate agricultural commodities, alongside Archer Daniels
Midland, Bunge and Cargill.
The group has plans to step up investments, supported by
three bond issues in the past two years, and has previously
raised a share listing as a possibility for the future.
"The message is clear: we will do what's best for the
company. And if at a given moment we find - not for financial
but for strategic reasons - that we have to work with a partner
or the stock market, then we'll be ready," Louis-Dreyfus told
the Financial Times in an interview published on Tuesday.
A flurry of consolidation deals among agricultural traders,
as well as the listing of diversified commodity group Glencore
, has fuelled speculation about the future ownership of
the Louis Dreyfus group.
Publishing its annual results and report last week, Louis
Dreyfus Commodities said it would invest $4 billion between 2014
and 2018 in a bid to double sales from $63.6 billion last year.
"While maintaining the spirit of a family company, we are
now aligning our business model and operations more closely with
those of a publicly listed company," Margarita Louis-Dreyfus
wrote in the annual report.
In a further step towards adopting a similar structure to a
listed company, Louis Dreyfus Commodities is to appoint three
non-executive directors to its board in the coming week, the
Financial Times said.
But Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, who controls the trading group
via the Akira family trust, told the newspaper that the group
had no immediate plans to open up to external shareholders.
"People don't want to believe it is possible to just keep
all our options open. But right now that is the best approach
for the company," she said.
(Reporting by Gus Trompiz; Editing by Andrew Callus and Keiron