Cargill says Macquarie Group to buy its petroleum business

(Reuters) - Australian investment bank Macquarie Group Ltd agreed to buy Cargill Inc’s [CARG.UL] petroleum business, the commodities trader said on Thursday, the latest reshuffling of its business following an almost three-year slump in oil prices.

A Cargill logo is pictured on the Provimi Kliba and Protector animal nutrition factory in Lucens, Switzerland, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Macquarie operates a global oil business active in both financial and physical markets. The deal would expand its footprint by adding facilities in Geneva, Switzerland and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The companies did not disclose terms of the purchase and declined to comment further.

Reuters first reported the two were in deal talks on March 3.

The acquired business will report to Nick O’Kane, Macquarie’s global head of energy markets.

The sale comes as Cargill has spent the past year streamlining operations amid a rout in global commodity prices. In January, sources had said that Cargill was planning to sell its U.S. gas and power business to commodities trader and investor TrailStone Group.

The company continues to operate its gas and power business, according to a company representative.

Following the sale, Cargill will continue to operate in the energy industry, including a risk management business, which as a registered swap dealer provides hedging services.

Many banks have exited physical oil trading in recent years following the implementation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform. President Donald Trump in February signed an executive order to scale back those regulations, a move that may better accommodate banks that wish to trade physical commodities.

J.P. Morgan acted as exclusive financial adviser to Cargill on its transaction with Macquarie.

Reporting by Liz Hampton in Houston; Additional reporting by Eileen Soreng and Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Lisa Shumaker