Sucden May Offer Russian Stake to Former Governor, Chess Chief

Sucres et Denrees SA, a French sugar trader with processing in Russia, may offer a stake in Russian assets to Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, a former regional governor, to help protect operations, its head of the local business said.

“This can be the case if Mr. Ilyumzhinov helps to save our assets from the corporate raiders,” Etienne Pelletier, also a member of the company’s executive committee, said today by phone. Ilyumzhinov, governor of Kalmykia until 2010 and World Chess Federation president, has “necessary contacts,” he said.

Sucden, as the Paris-based company is known, plans to grow in Russia and other emerging markets and has offered Ilyumzhinov an option to invest in the proposed expansion, Pelletier said.

The trader has been in legal disputes over ownership of Russian assets since 2008 after contracts to buy equipment for plants were challenged by local counterparts. Sucden has three sugar plants in Russia that processed 2.5 million metric tons of beet into 316,000 tons of sugar last year, company data show.

Ilyumzhinov told Vedomosti today he plans to invest as much as 300 million euros ($368 million) to boost Sucden’s business.

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