Wilmar paid 2.3 billion dirham ($263 million) for the shares in Africa’s third-largest sugar producer and will fund the purchase internally and with bank loans, the Singapore-based company said in a statement. Another 26.5 percent of Consumar will be sold to a group of Moroccan institutional investors, who will hold a 54 percent controlling stake with Wilmar.
Buying Consumar, Morocco’s sole sugar supplier, gives Wilmar additional production capacity of 1.6 million metric tons and adds to its refineries in Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia. Chief Financial Officer Ho Kiam Kong said Feb. 22 the company is seeking sugar and oil palm assets in Africa and Myanmar.
“Our investment in Consumar gives us a significant presence in the Western hemisphere and is part of our overall strategy to develop a world-class sugar business,” Chief Executive Officer Kuok Khoon Hong said in the statement.
Wilmar shares fell 1.5 percent to S$3.26 as of 9:26 a.m. in Singapore, compared with the 0.4 percent drop in the benchmark Straits Times index.
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