The Chinese state-owned agri-food conglomerate COFCO International has completed its purchase of the remaining 49% share of Noble Agri, to give it 100% of the equity.
The business will now trade as COFCO Agri. It has 45 facilities across 29 countries, sipping agricultural commodities from regions such as North and South America, South Africa, Eastern Europe and Australia to markets with high import demand including China, Asia and the Middle East. In 2015 the business handled 47 million tonnes of product, with revenues of nearly $17 billion.
COFCO Agri will continue to act as the principal global origination platform for the wider COFCO group, with its upstream origination and trading operations servicing the downstream processing and distribution activities of the group and its affiliates in China. Cofco acquired a 51% stake in the international shipper Nidera in March 2014.
The latest Noble deal was announced in late December, with the Noble Group saying the transaction is worth $750 million in cash, plus an earnout based on the future growth of Noble Agri that could be worth up to $200m. Noble intend to use the proceeds as part of its debt reduction programme, following its exposure to deflating commodity and energy markets.
“The closing of the acquisition marks a major milestone, says Matt Jansen, chief executive of COFCO Agri. “Progress like this does not happen without a consistent, concerted effort at every level of the company. Together, we are going to make COFCO Agri the most trusted brand in the global agri-business industry.”
Patrick Yu, president of COFCO, adds: “From the initial acquisition in April 2014 to the purchase of the remaining share at the end of December to the closing today, COFCO Agri is moving rapidly to take its place as a multi-flag world-class global agri-business. Performance across all business units has improved dramatically since June of last year, and we expect to see further improvement in 2016.”