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.
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.
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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.
Write to Dana Mattioli at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jacob Bunge at email@example.com and Scott Patterson at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 23, 2017 13:41 ET (17:41 GMT)