Bunge buys Viterra to create global agribusiness giant

US agribusiness company Bunge announced Tuesday a deal to acquire rival Viterra for more than $8 billion to create a global powerhouse in the food commodities trading sector.

The two companies together posted $121 billion in revenue last year.

In combining, the companies will bolster diversification across geographies and seasonal cycles, improving the ability to serve farmers and consumers, Bunge and Viterra said in a joint statement.

Founded in 1923, Bunge is among the four major agricultural commodities groups known as “ABCD” — ADM, Bunge, Cargill and Louis-Dreyfus.

The Missouri-based company, which had revenue of $67 billion last year, has 23,000 employees worldwide.

Viterra, whose roots are in Canada but with a head office in Rotterdam, Netherlands, counts Swiss commodities giant Glencore among its shareholders.

It reported $54 billion in sales last year and employs 17,500 people.

“The combination of Bunge and Viterra significantly accelerates Bunge’s strategy, building on our fundamental purpose to connect farmers to consumers to deliver essential food, feed and fuel to the world,” said Bunge Chief Executive Greg Heckman.

The transaction “will create a network that connects the world’s largest production regions to areas of fastest growing consumption, enhancing the geographical balance and adaptability of our global value chains and benefitting farmers and end-customer,” he added.

Under the deal, Viterra shareholders will receive around 65.6 million shares of Bunge stock worth some $6.2 billion, along with $2 billion in cash.

Bunge will also assume $9.8 billion of Viterra debt.