Glencore Makes Takeover Approach to Bunge

By Dana Mattioli, Jacob Bunge and Scott Patterson Features Dow Jones Newswires

Glencore PLC has made a takeover approach to grain trader Bunge Ltd., people familiar with the matter said, a move that would make the Swiss mining giant a major player in the U.S. agriculture market.

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It isn't clear where any discussions between the companies stand and there may not be any deal, but if there is one it would be substantial: Bunge had a market value Tuesday of nearly $10 billion; including debt; its so-called enterprise value was about $15 billion.

Glencore is a mining and commodity-trading powerhouse with a market value of GBP42.3 billion ($55 billion). An acquisition of Bunge, one of the world's largest traders and processors of commodities like soybeans and corn, would give Glencore a major presence in the U.S., a long-held goal of Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg.

A deal would also be a sign that Glencore has recovered from a turbulent period two years ago when the company faced questions about its solvency.

With $42.9 billion in sales last year, Bunge is among the biggest and oldest of the grain-trading giants that control the flow of crops from farmers' fields to food plants and livestock operations. Along with Archer Daniels Midland Co., Cargill Inc. and Louis Dreyfus, Bunge is a member of the so-called "ABCD" club that dominates global agribusiness.

--Ben Dummett contributed to this article.

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Write to Dana Mattioli at dana.mattioli@wsj.com, Jacob Bunge at jacob.bunge@wsj.com and Scott Patterson at scott.patterson@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 23, 2017 13:41 ET (17:41 GMT)