Private agri-giant sells French oils company to joint European venture following approval from the European Commission. The cash back will be used to reduce debt.
The French maker of branded bottled vegetable oils Lesieur came under Bunge's wing when Bunge acquired rival oilseed processor Cereol - the parent of ingredients company Central Soya - from Italian energy company Edison.
The move rocketed Bunge into the position of number one global oilseed processor.
Late last year Cereol signed a binding agreement to sell its 100 per cent stake in Lesieur to Saipol, an oilseed processing joint venture between Cereol and Sofiproteol, the financial institution for the French oilseed producers.
Cereol, and therefore Bunge, will retain a 33.34 per cent interest in Saipol with Sofiproteol controlling the remaining 66.66 per cent.
Bunge received €186.3 million in cash and repayment of Lesieur intercompany debt owed to Cereol at closing. The company intends to use the net cash proceeds to reduce other outstanding debt.
Bunge continues to make headway eastwards with the news last week that it acquired Hindustan Lever's edible oils and fats businesses from Anglo Dutch giant Unilever.