Bunge to purchase California rice mill
December 13, 2010 - St. Louis, Missouri - Bunge North America, the North American operating arm of Bunge Limited (NYSE: BG), announced that it has agreed to buy the rice milling business of Pacific International Rice Mills, LLC, a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch, Inc. The purchase is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to customary closing conditions. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Pacific International Rice Mills (PIRMI) produces bulk and packaged milled rice for domestic and export markets. The mill is located in Woodland, California, in the Sacramento rice growing region, 20 miles west of the Port of Sacramento.
"The purchase of PIRMI's business supports Bunge's strategy of expanding into adjacent value chains, and rice milling is a natural extension for us," said Soren Schroder, president and CEO, Bunge North America. "Bunge is a leader in the corn dry milling industry, and success in the rice milling industry relies on many of the same strengths: commodity origination, efficient milling operations, risk management, logistics and a customer-focused approach to business."
With an annual milling capacity of 363,000 metric tons, PIRMI sells to customers in the foodservice, food processing and export channels -- the same channels that Bunge successfully serves through its grain, milling and oils operations.
"PIRMI is a first-rate facility with talented employees who have developed a successful business selling rice to external customers," said Pete Kraemer, vice president of Supply at Anheuser-Busch. "In the process, our breweries have sourced more rice from other suppliers, as well as our rice mill in Arkansas. The sale of PIRMI will enable us to focus our rice milling operations on those used for our beers."
Bunge has been a supplier to Anheuser-Busch for more than 30 years, providing high-quality corn products for brewing. PIRMI will be among the suppliers Anheuser-Busch looks to for its rice purchases.
"We are pleased to have this opportunity to deepen our relationship with Anheuser-Busch and we look forward to working with PIRMI's employees, growers and customers to build on PIRMI"s strong foundation to create new markets and develop new products," said George Allard, vice president and general manager, Bunge Milling. "A number of factors point to continued demand growth for medium grain rice including nutritional, demographic and dietary trends, and we are confident we can take advantage of these growth opportunities."
The plant currently operates with about 65 employees. Subject to its normal hiring procedures, Bunge intends to hire PIRMI's employees.
About Bunge North America
Bunge North America (www.bungenorthamerica.com), the North American operating arm of Bunge Limited (NYSE: BG), is a vertically integrated food and feed ingredient company, supplying raw and processed agricultural commodities and specialized food ingredients to a wide range of customers in the livestock, poultry, food processor, foodservice and bakery industries. With headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, Bunge North America and its subsidiaries operate grain elevators, oilseed processing plants, edible oil refineries and packaging facilities, and corn dry mills in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
About Bunge Limited
Bunge Limited (www.bunge.com, NYSE: BG) is a leading global agribusiness and food company with approximately 32,000 employees in more than 30 countries. Bunge buys, sells, stores and transports oilseeds and grains to serve customers worldwide; processes oilseeds to make protein meal for animal feed and edible oil products for commercial customers and consumers; produces sugar and ethanol from sugarcane; mills wheat and corn to make ingredients used by food companies; and sells fertilizer in North and South America. Founded in 1818, the company is headquartered in White Plains, New York.
Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch is the leading American brewer, holding a 48.9 percent share of U.S. beer sales to retailers. The company brews the world's largest-selling beers, Budweiser and Bud Light. Anheuser-Busch also owns a 50 percent share in Grupo Modelo, Mexico's leading brewer. Anheuser-Busch is a major manufacturer of aluminum cans and has been a leading aluminum recycler for more than 30 years. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the leading global brewer, and continues to operate under the Anheuser-Busch name and logo. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com.
Cautionary Statement Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains both historical and forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical fact are, or may be deemed to be, forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. These forward-looking statements are not based on historical facts, but rather reflect our current expectations and projections about our future results, performance, prospects and opportunities. We have tried to identify these forward-looking statements by using words including “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “plan,” “intend,” “estimate,” “continue” and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause our actual results, performance, prospects or opportunities to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements. The following important factors, among others, could affect our business and financial performance: industry conditions, including fluctuations in supply, demand and prices for agricultural commodities and other raw materials and products used in our business; fluctuations in energy and freight costs and competitive developments in our industries; the effects of weather conditions and the outbreak of crop and animal disease on our business; global and regional agricultural, economic, financial and commodities market, political, social and health conditions; the outcome of pending regulatory and legal proceedings; our ability to complete, integrate and benefit from acquisitions, dispositions, joint ventures and strategic alliances, including the closing of the transaction discussed in this press release; our ability to achieve the efficiencies, savings and other benefits anticipated from our cost reduction, margin improvement and other business optimization initiatives; changes in government policies, laws and regulations affecting our business, including agricultural and trade policies, tax regulations and biofuels legislation; and other factors affecting our business generally. The forward-looking statements included in this release are made only as of the date of this release, and except as otherwise required by federal securities law, we do not have any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.
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