Bunge scraps deal for controlling stake in Grupo Minsa

(Reuters) - U.S. agricultural commodities trader Bunge Ltd BG.N said Friday it has terminated a deal for a controlling stake in Mexican corn miller Grupo Minsa SAB de CV MINSAB.MX, an acquisition that would have made Bunge the top grain miller in Mexico.

The deal would have given Bunge control of four corn mills in Mexico and two mills in the United States. Minsa could not immediately be reached for comment.

The termination is a setback for Bunge’s strategy to grow its food and ingredients unit with higher-margin business like specialty milling and oilseed processing. Its goal is for food and ingredients to bring in a third of the company’s profit.

In September, Bunge bought a 70 percent stake in palm and tropical oils company IOI Loders Croklaan for nearly $1 billion, a deal that Bunge CEO Soren Schroder said would eventually bring food and ingredients to that earnings goal.

Bunge’s North American operating arm had agreed to a deal with Minsa in August 2016, but talks were suspended after delays in regulatory approvals by authorities in Mexico, Bunge said in a release.

During the delay, Minsa outsourced sales from a local team to a third party, a business model change that prompted the two companies to cancel the transaction, Bunge said.

Bunge declined to disclose terms of the Minsa deal.

Reporting by Karan Nagarkatti in Bengaluru and Karl Plume in Chicago; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Lisa Shumaker