Update: COFCO Chairman Says Group Not Looking to Increase Stake in Nidera
In July, Reuters reported that China’s state-run grain trader, COFCO, was seeking to increase its 51% stake in Dutch grain trader, Nidera, according to people close to the principal players in the decision. However, the group’s chairman, Ning Gaoning, told Reuters at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting in Manila, that the group does not plan to increase its stake.
Similarly, the group's chairman also silenced rumors reported by Reuters in October that Glencore was engaged in talks with COFCO and a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund and Canadian pension fund about the sale of a stake in its agricultural assets, however, when asked to confirm if COFCO was interested in the purchase of Glencore’s assets, the group’s chairman, Ning Gaoning responded that “It’s not really in the market. They’re not selling.”
In a little more than a year’s time, COFCO has spent $2.8 billion, transforming the group through a joint venture with Noble Group Ltd’s agribusiness unit and Nidera, from one focused on procurement to a global-scale agricultural trader. At the same time the group also expanding its pig breeding, soybean crushing, and milling activities, and grew its branded foods interests including wine, chocolate, and edible oils.
On the back of this growth, Ning has previously stated that COFCO plans to list within three to five years, which if pursued, would launch COFCO into the exclusive group of globally dominant agricultural traders that includes Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bunge, Cargill, and Louis Dreyfus.