Mitsubishi eyes Ceagro takeover

Bloomberg

Mitsubishi Corp. will take control of grain supplier Los Grobo Ceagro do Brazil as Japan’s biggest trading company seeks to boost corn and soybean supplies to meet Asian demand.

A Brazilian unit of Mitsubishi will purchase 60 percent of Goiania-based Ceagro to raise the company’s stake to 80 percent, it said Monday in a statement. The Mitsubishi unit will spend ¥50 billion to raise its stake in Ceagro, the Nikkei reported Saturday, without saying where it got the information.

Ceagro trades 1 million tons of grain a year, and also supplies seeds, fertilizer and agricultural chemicals. Mitsubishi’s Brazilian unit currently trades about 2 million tons of grain a year.

The purchase will help Mitsubishi improve grain handling logistics in Brazil and bolster supply as it seeks to increase grain trading to 20 million tons annually by 2020, the Tokyo-based company said, without giving a comparative figure for current volumes.

Mitsubishi is targeting grain producers in North and South America and Australia to help meet demand in Japan, China and Southeast Asia, it said in the statement.

Domestic traders have spent more than $4 billion to buy firms involved in grain production over the past three years, led by Marubeni Corp.’s $3.6 billion purchase of Gavilon Group in the United States. Mitsui & Co. invested about $459 million to take control of Brazil’s Multigrain in 2011.