December 20, 2018 / 1:57 PM / a month ago

France's Axereal to buy Cargill's malt business

A Cargill sign is seen during the China International Import Expo (CIIE), at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai, China November 5, 2018. REUTERS/Aly Song

PARIS (Reuters) - Axereal has agreed to buy the malt business of U.S. agri giant Cargill [CARG.UL], in a deal that will bolster the French cooperative’s international reach.

The transaction between Axereal’s Boortmalt division and Cargill covers 15 sites across four continents with more than 500 staff, the companies said in a statement.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2019, they said. Financial details were not disclosed.

Axereal is already one of the world’s largest malt manufacturers along with fellow French grain groups Soufflet and Vivescia, mainly supplying barley-based malt to brewers.

Cargill Malt supplies the brewing and food and beverage industries, the statement said.

Like Soufflet, Axereal plans to develop malt processing in Ethiopia to tap into local barley production and a growing beer industry in the eastern African country.

Reporting by Gus Trompiz; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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