Bunge to acquire Argentine edible oil company

by Holly Demaree
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Aceitera Martínez, Bunge
Aceitera Martínez's assets include a modern production plant with a capacity of about 20,000 tonnes per month.

SAN JERÓNIMO SUD, SANTA FE PROVINCE, ARGENTINA — Bunge Southern Cone and Aceitera Martínez S.A. announced that the two companies have entered into an agreement to transfer all of Aceitera Martínez’s assets to Bunge. A family-run business for more than 60 years, Aceitera Martínez specializes in the production and packaging of edible oils, including soybean and sunflower oil.

The acquisition covers all of the oil company’s assets and includes a modern production plant located in San Jerónimo Sud, near Bunge’s refining center. The facility is equipped with three packaging lines, which have an installed capacity of approximately 20,000 tonnes per month.

“This acquisition allows us to strengthen our value-added position in the agrifood chain and ratifies Bunge’s deep commitment to national production,” said Enrique Humanes, chief executive officer of Bunge Southern Cone. “In the coming years, our commitment will be to meet the demand for higher value-added products, expand our portfolio and generate a more appropriate asset allocation, all of which responds to Bunge’s strategic vision for our Food & Ingredients business.”

This agreement is the latest of expansions for Bunge this year.

In mid-March, Bunge entered into an agreement to acquire Westfälische Lebensmittelwerke Lindemann GmbH & Co. KG, a supplier of oils and fats in Germany.

Bunge completed the acquisition of Cargill’s soybean/rapeseed crush and oil refinery and the beans discharging operation alongside its processing plant in the port of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, as well as its soybean/rapeseed crush facility in Brest, France, on March 1.

The company also formed an ocean freight joint venture in mid-February. Koninklijke Bunge B.V. (Bunge), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bunge Ltd., a global agribusiness and food company, and Bahri Dry Bulk Co. (BDB), a subsidiary of the Bahri Group, the national shipping arm of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, created a joint venture to establish an ocean freight supplier for dry bulk import and export flows in and out of the Middle East region.

Partnerships are a priority for Bunge, said Soren Schroder, c.e.o. of Bunge, during a Feb. 15 conference call with analysts to discuss fiscal 2016 results. The company has created strategic joint ventures in Brazil, Canada and Vietnam that are improving its competitive position and allowing the company to grow in a capital-efficient way. Bunge also has expanded access to critical markets through distribution partnerships, such as OSI and OFI in the Philippines for oil distribution in the Asia-Pacific region.  
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