Cargill to buy Viterra’s Australian maltster

Commodity giant Glencore Xstrata plans to shed another piece of its grain firm Viterra, this time Australia’s largest maltster.

Glencore announced Monday it will sell Joe White Maltings to Cargill for an undisclosed sum and expects to close the deal before the end of this year.

Viterra has owned Joe White since 2009, when the Regina-based grain handler bought its way into Australian agribusiness through a takeover of ABB Grain.

Joe White, founded at the inland community of Ballarat in the 1850s, was merged with Adelaide Malting Co. in a takeover by AusBulk in 2002, before AusBulk’s merger into ABB in 2004.

Minneapolis-based agribusiness Cargill already runs malting facilities in Europe and the Americas but noted Monday it “does not have a presence in the Australian malting market.”

Joe White now runs seven plants and supplies brewers across Southeast Asia as well as in Australia.

“The addition of Joe White Malting will complete Cargill’s global footprint in all key barley production areas and enable us to better serve our global and leading regional brewers in the region,” Doug Eden, president of Cargill’s global malt business, said in the company’s release.

“We look forward to bringing our malt industry expertise and additional capital to Joe White Maltings to continue to grow the business,” Philippa Purser, Cargill Australia’s managing director, said in the same release.

Glencore, which completed its takeover of Viterra last year, has already sold a number of the Prairie grain firm’s assets to Canadian firms Agrium and Richardson International and U.S. fertilizer company CF Industries.

The Reuters news agency last month reported Glencore is also seeking a buyer for Viterra’s U.S. pasta processing operation, Dakota Growers Pasta Co., valued at US$300 million to $400 million. — Network

Related story:
Viterra’s Australian malt business eyed for sale, March 15, 2013

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