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Vanguarda Sells Biofuel Plants for $56 Million to Cut Debt

Vanguarda Agro SA, a Brazilian farm company backed by Spanish billionaire Enrique Banuelos, agreed to sell two biodiesel plants to Oleoplan SA for 100 million reais ($55.9 million) to pay off loans.

The two facilities, located in the Brazilian cities of Iraquara and Porto Nacional, will cut Vanguarda’s net debt by 29 percent compared to Oct. 30, the New Mutum, Brazil-based company said today in a regulatory filing.

Vanguarda is selling off unprofitable assets and shifting its focus from biofuels to soybean, cotton and corn production, according to Erick Hood, an analyst at SLW Corretora brokerage, who spoke today in a telephone interview from Sao Paulo.

Vanguarda fell 1 centavo, or 1.9 percent to 53 centavos at 12:02 p.m. in Sao Paulo.

“It’s part of a general restructuring of the company to concentrate more on agriculture,” Hood said. Making biodiesel “doesn’t provide good returns and is dragging down margins.”

The company agreed to sell two plants in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul for 58 million reais to agribusiness Camera Agroalimentos SA on Oct. 24, according to a filing.

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