Bunge could be priced at US$90 a share

Bunge 'could be priced at US$90 a share'

US agri-food company Bunge is purportedly coming under pressure from Continental Grains to sell the business after it was said to have entered talks with North American peer Archer Daniels Midland.

It is unclear what financial clout or authority Continental Grains has to demand a sale, but Reuters reported a person familiar with the matter as saying this week that the company has increased its stake in Bunge to "more than 1%.''

Formed in 1813 as a grain trader, Continental Grains' website says it has become one of the largest privately-held companies in the world, with diversified operations and investment interests.

According to the news agency, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission publicly granted Continental Grain approval for its increased position in Bunge, which along with grains, markets consumer-facing food products under brands including Primor, Optima and Komili.

Continental Grain's "focus is on the path to maximise value, including the potential sale" of Bunge, the source said.

Officials at Continental Grain and Bunge had not returned a request for comment from just-food at the time of writing.

Early in February, Archer Daniels Midland was said by Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, to be on the verge of buying up Bunge.

Both Bunge and ADM are among the largest agricultural traders worldwide and feature in the so-called ABCD group of businesses, alongside Cargill and Louis Dreyfus.

Bunge and ADM declined to comment when approached by just-food about those reports.

Last year, Bunge rebuffed an approach from commodity trader Glencore Plc, according to Reuters

Bloomberg reported this week Continental believes Bunge could be worth at least US$90 a share and is getting impatient with management for not delivering a potential sale, according to a source who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.

Continental is not interested in being involved in any potential takeover of the company, one of Bloomberg's sources said, but it may have an interest in acquiring certain assets to satisfy antitrust concerns.