Cargill, Copersucar to combine global sugar activities

by Eric Schroeder
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GENEVA — Copersucar and Cargill have reached agreement to combine their global sugar trading activities into a new joint venture that will originate, commercialize and trade raw and white sugar. The joint venture, in which both Copersucar and Cargill will own a 50% stake, will have a global footprint. A new name for the company will be determined at the time of the transaction’s closing.

The companies said the joint venture will focus on increasing the efficiency, quality and services in the sugar supply chain. They said the combined global supply chain will allow them “to seamlessly move a wide range of sugar qualities and different origins from port to destination in a timely and efficient manner, meeting the specific requirements of customers worldwide.”

The new joint venture will benefit from a global footprint as well as large-scale supply of Copersucar’s partner mills in Brazil, complemented by Thai, Indian, Central American and Australian origins. Additionally, it will benefit from the companies’ proven track record in logistics management and access to the elevation terminals in Brazil.

“Through the new company, Copersucar reinforces its strategy of achieving a global footprint in the sugar market,” said Luis Roberto Pogetti, chairman of Copersucar. “Copersucar also enhances its unique business model, based on large-scale supply, logistic capacity and the integration of all links of the chain, from the producers to the customers.”

Olivier Kerr, corporate vice-president at Cargill, added, “We believe that the strong analytical capabilities of our trading teams, combined with the global footprint of this new joint venture, will offer our customers a distinct understanding of the global market.”

Cargill’s sugar trading business, which has about 180 employees, trades raw sugar in bulk, white sugar in bags or containers, and ethanol. The company originates sugar from leading sugar producing countries, including Brazil, where Cargill co-owns and operates a bulk sugar export terminal.

Incorporated in 2008, Copersucar S.A. is the largest Brazilian sugar and ethanol trader integrated to production. Its business model combines production from 47 member mills and about 50 non-member units with an integrated system of logistics, transportation, storage, and commercialization on large scale in domestic and foreign markets under the company’s responsibility and direct management.

Trading activities for the joint venture will be based out of Geneva, and the joint venture will have offices in Hong Kong; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Miami; Delhi, India; Moscow; Jakarta, Indonesia; Shanghai, China; Bangkok, Thailand; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Ivo Sarjanovic, who currently leads Cargill’s sugar business, will be named chief executive officer once the new company is formed. Soren Hoed Jensen, current sugar and ethanol sales executive director of Copersucar, will become the joint venture’s chief operating officer, and Stefano Tonti, currently financial controller of Cargill’s global trading and sugar businesses, will become the new joint venture’s chief financial officer. Mr. Pogetti will become the first rotating chairman of the new joint venture.

Both companies' ethanol businesses and fixed assets, such as terminals and mills, are excluded from this transaction. These activities will remain separate businesses, individually owned by Cargill and Copersucar.
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