Cargill Inc., the agricultural commodities trader and the largest closely-held U.S. company, agreed to buy Glencore International Plc (GLEN)’s Joe White Maltings to take control of the biggest maltster in Australia.
The purchase, which is subject to regulatory approvals, should complete before the end of the year, Minneapolis-based Cargill said today in a statement. The price wasn’t disclosed.
“The addition of Joe White Maltings 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 according to the statement.
Buying the unit gives Cargill control of an operation that produces more than 550,000 metric tons of malt a year and supplies brewers in countries including Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea and Indonesia, according to its website. Glencore bought it as part of its C$6.1 billion ($5.9 billion) purchase of Canada’s Viterra Inc. last year.
Glencore rose 0.4 percent to 288.95 pence as of 8:04 a.m. in London. Its shares have declined 18 percent since the start of the year.
Companies have stepped up acquisitions of agricultural assets to benefit from growing demand led by Asian consumers. Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (ADM:US) agreed to buy Australia’s GrainCorp. Ltd. in a A$2.2 billion deal in May to add ports that ship grain in bulk from the nation’s east coast.
Malt, a form of barley, is used to brew alcoholic drinks such as beer and whiskey. Australia accounts for about 32 percent of the world’s malting barley trade, according to Barley Australia. The country produces more than 850,000 tons of malt annually, with more than 500,000 tons exported, according to the group’s website.
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