US food and agribusiness Bunge has announced that it has agreed to acquire the Ideal business of premium bottled oils from Molinos International, a subsidiary of Molinos Rio de la Plata, for approximately US$20m.

The acquisition includes exclusive rights to the Ideal brand in Russia and all Former Soviet Union (FSU) nations. Bunge said the deal marks a "significant addition" to Bunge's bottled oil brand portfolio in Russia, where the company already owns the Oleina brand.

"Russia and the neighbouring FSU countries are a strategic priority for Bunge due to their long-term growth potential in consumer foods," said Jean-Louis Gourbin, CEO of Bunge Europe.

"The combination of Ideal and Oleina creates a product portfolio that meets a variety of consumer needs. It mirrors a strategy that Bunge has implemented successfully in markets such as Brazil, Poland and Hungary," Gourbin added.

Bunge entered the European edible oil business in 2002 with the acquisition of Cereol, the producer of Oleina.

"We are confident that the acquisition of Ideal will allow Bunge to grow its participation in the Russian consumer edible oil market and strengthen our relationships with distributors and retailers," Gourbin continued. "We are also excited by the opportunity to grow Ideal in other FSU countries, where it has a high recognition, and by the opportunity to extend the brand into new, edible oil related categories."

The acquisition is expected to be completed in January 2005.