A.B.F. finalizes Ebro Puleva sugar business purchase

by Eric Schroeder
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LONDON — Associated British Foods has completed its acquisition of Azucarera Ebro S.L.U., the Spanish sugar business of Madrid-based Ebro Puleva.

The acquisition, which was first announced on Dec. 15, 2008, is expected to strengthen the existing E.U. operations of A.B.F.’s British Sugar business.

Under terms of the transaction, Ebro Puleva will receive €385 million ($511 million), debt free, from A.B.F., as well as an additional €150 million ($199 million) in other compensations, mainly from the restructuring funds established under the C.M.O. sugar reform.

Ebro Puleva has indicated that the disposal of the sugar business represents "a leap forward" in its current strategic plan, which currently is focused on growing rice, pasta, dairy and functional foods, while shedding non-strategic businesses and reducing debt.

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