COVINGTON, LA. — Zen-Noh Grain Corp. (ZCG), a subsidiary of the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations of Japan (Zen-Noh), has reached an agreement to acquire 35 US interior elevators from Bunge North America, Inc., a subsidiary of St. Louis-based Bunge Ltd. The completion of the sale is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval.
“This transaction will allow Bunge to operate more efficiently and reinvest in higher returning areas of the company while reducing costs and strengthening our balance sheet,” said Gregory A. Heckman, chief executive officer of Bunge. “Bunge will continue to be an industry leader in the US grain marketplace through global grain trading and distribution with our export terminals in Destrehan, La., which we are expanding, and EGT, our joint venture in the Pacific Northwest. We will also continue our strong presence in the soybean processing business and milling operations.”
ZGC said its affiliate, CGB Enterprises, Inc., Covington, will operate the acquired facilities through its wholly owned subsidiary, Consolidated Grain and Barge Co. CGB currently operates more than 100 grain origination facilities in the United States.
Through certain supply agreements, Bunge said it will be able to access a larger and stronger origination and distribution network through Zen-Noh to better serve American farmers and global export customers.
In addition to the export terminals in Destrehan and the EGT joint venture, Bunge will retain ownership in Bunge-SCF Grain, Bunge’s joint venture with SCF, and the Bunge elevators in Indiana that directly support Bunge’s soybean processing plant in Morristown.
Bunge has been cutting costs and shedding non-core assets in recent years as a sharp downturn in grain prices has squeezed margins for the two-century-old global agribusiness giant.
The company ended its 13-year ownership interest in an Iowa ethanol plant in January and sold its Brazilian margarine business in December 2019.
Prior to the pending sale to Zen-Noh, Bunge ranked seventh in grain storage capacity in North America with 170.1 million bushels, according to Sosland Publishing’s 2020 Grain & Milling Annual.