April 9, 2019 / 1:45 PM / 11 days ago

Louis Dreyfus announces new Biosev chairman, other management changes

PARIS (Reuters) - Commodities house Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) announced a new chairman on Tuesday for its loss-making Brazilian sugar subsidiary Biosev, which has triggered other management changes at the group.

Adrian Isman will take over as Chairman of Biosev with immediate effect, replacing Patrick Treuer who will remain on Biosev’s board as vice-chairman while focusing on his role as LDC’s Chief Strategy Officer, the group said.

Biosev, majority-owned by LDC’s holding company, is reorganizing its operations as it tries to recover from a slump in the sugar industry. Last year it underwent a debt restructuring that led to a $1 billion capital injection from LDC which contributed to rising debt at the commodity group.

LDC, often known as Dreyfus, is the ‘D’ of the so-called “ABCD” quartet of global crop merchants firms, which also include Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge and Cargill.

Isman’s appointment as Biosev chairman “underlines the Group’s continued commitment to our sister company,” LDC Chief Executive Ian McIntosh said in a statement.

Isman will retain his roles as Head of North America at LDC and Chairman of Calyx Agro Ltd, a farmland operator partly owned by LDC.

At the same time, Anthony Tancredi will replace Isman as head of LDC’s Grains Platform. Enrico Biancheri, previously head sugar trader, will take over Tancredi’s existing role as head of the Sugar Platform.

The management changes follow last year’s appointment of McIntosh as chief executive.

The CEO change, which coincided with the replacement of the group’s finance chief, took the market by surprise and raised questions about tensions at the group during a tough period in agricultural markets.

LDC has since pointed to higher profits in 2018 and the completion of a buyout of minority family interests by main shareholder Margarita Louis-Dreyfus as signs of progress.

Isman led the grains business for a year and a half, having taken up the post in a previous management reshuffle following the departure of several senior grain traders in Europe.

Tancredi, meanwhile, notably worked in LDC’s cotton business, including as platform head, before becoming sugar head in 2016.

Reporting by Gus Trompiz and Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Susan Fenton

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