ADM in "advanced talks" to buy Bunge: Bloomberg

5 Feb 2018 | Andy Allan

Agribusiness major Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is in advanced talks to buy rival Bunge, according to Bloomberg News, which cited unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

An ADM spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.

The news is the latest in a series of reports around the future of Bunge, which was the subject of a takeover bid last year by Glencore Agriculture as the latter seeks to break into the US grains market.

Blighted by overproduction and low prices, the global agribusiness industry is undergoing a period of consolidation due to thin margins.

Over the past few years, Chinese state-owned importer Cofco has purchased Nidera and Noble Agriculture, but the Bunge deal would dwarf those and will likely lead to a reduction in competition in the corn and soybean sectors.

According to a 2014 study by the University of Missouri, as much as 85% of US soybean crushing is controlled by ADM, Bunge, Cargill and the co-operative Ag Processing.

And in Brazil, Bunge is the largest exporter in the booming agriculture market, posting revenues of 40 billion reais almost $13 billion.

With ADM revenues of $62.3 billion and Bunge revenues of $42.7 billion, any new company would likely make the top 50 biggest companies in the world by revenue, should it not be forced to jettison any businesses.

It would, however, still be less than a quarter of the size of the world’s biggest company Walmart, which has revenues of $485 billion.