Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Glencore, Bunge Eye Sale of Soros-backed Gavilon

From Reuters:
Global trading companies including Swiss Glencore (GLEN.L) and U.S.-based Bunge (BG.N) have expressed interest in the possible sale of U.S. energy and grains trader Gavilon Group, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Gavilon, owned by hedge fund manager Dwight Anderson and investors such as billionaire George Soros, began exploring fund-raising options in January, offering the chance to buy into a leading fertilizer distribution system, a network of grain storage bins and oil storage facilities in Oklahoma.

Bids are due soon for the potential sale, which could be worth up to $5 billion, the source said. Canadian grain handling firm Viterra (VT.TO), which has expanded significantly with acquisitions in recent years, could also be interested, according to the source.

Bloomberg previously reported the news and said that other potential bidders include Wilmar International (WLIL.SI), which does not have a significant footprint in the United States, and Japanese trader Mitsui & Co (8031.T).

Bloomberg said the company has also discussed a possible initial public offering with its bankers, it said.
Private equity funds have been excluded from the bidding, while leading traders like Cargill Inc CARG.UL and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM.N) have been discouraged from bidding due to potential antitrust risks, according to the Bloomberg report.

Gavilon has hired Morgan Stanley to advise on the process.

Bunge declined to comment. Glencore and Viterra could not be immediately reached for comment....MORE