Mitsubishi to Take Control of Brazil’s Ceagro for Grain Supplies

Mitsubishi Corp. will take control of grain supplier Los Grobo Ceagro do Brazil S.A. as Japan’s biggest trading company seeks to boost corn and soybean supplies to meet Asian demand.

A Brazilian unit of Mitsubishi will purchase 60 percent of Goiania-based Ceagro to raise the Japanese company’s stake to 80 percent, it said today in a statement. The Japanese company will spend 50 billion yen ($497 million) to raise its stake in Ceagro, the Nikkei reported June 1, without saying where it got the information.

Ceagro trades 1 million metric tons of grain a year, and also supplies seeds, fertilizer and agricultural chemicals. Mitsubishi’s Brazilian unit currently trades about 2 million tons of grain a year, according to the statement.

The purchase will help Mitsubishi improve grain handling logistics in Brazil and bolster supply as it seeks to increase grain trading to 20 million tons annually by 2020, the Tokyo-based company said, without giving a comparative figure for current volume. Mitsubishi is targeting grain producers in North and South America and Australia to help meet demand in Japan, China and southeast Asia, it said in the statement.

Japanese traders have spent more than $4 billion buying grain-supply firms in the last three years led by Marubeni Corp.’s $3.6 billion purchase of Gavilon Group LLC in the U.S. Mitsui & Co. invested about $459 million to take control of Brazil’s Multigrain SA in 2011.

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