Weekly Digest: Bunge and Corbion ink deal, Danone completes Yakult stake sale

636578464856395584green globe.jpg

29 Mar 2018 --- This week in business, Bunge issued its fourth progress report on the implementation of the company's zero deforestation commitment and Albania is on track to become one of the most virtuous countries in Europe for sustainable seafood. Elsewhere, Danone has announced this week, that it has sold a total of 24,600,000 shares of Yakult, representing €1.3 billion (US$1.6 billion).

In brief: Sustainability
Bunge has issued its fourth progress report on the implementation of the company's zero deforestation commitment. It outlines the strategy based on building Traceable Supply Chains, Tools for the Sustainable Expansion of Agriculture and Incentives for Engagement. Bunge currently has more than 90 percent traceability to direct sourcing farms in high priority areas and are monitoring more than 6,700 farms and 200 third party elevators and is committed to building value chains that are free of deforestation and human rights issues, traceable and trustworthy.

 

Albania is said to be on track to become one of the most virtuous countries in Europe for sustainable seafood. To promote environmental sustainability in the fishing industry, the Albanian government has decided by decree to cover 50 percent of the cost seafood companies have to bear to undergo Friend of the Sea sustainability certification audit. In February 2018, Friend of the Sea has been invited by the Albanian Ministry of Rural Development and Aquaculture to attend meetings with institutions in Tirana and lead a workshop about the certification with major Albanian enterprises operating in the sector, several of which have already shown their interest in applying for Friend of the Sea audit.


In brief: Other highlights
Last month, French multinational food products corporation Danone announced its plans to offload part of its 21.29 percent stake in Japan’s Yakult as part of its capital allocation strategy, at the same time as bolstering its collaboration in probiotics by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Japanese company. The company has announced that, as a successful outcome to the transaction previously communicated, it has sold a total of 24,600,000 shares of Yakult, representing €1.3 billion (US$1.6 billion), and corresponding to a valuation multiple of 39 times Yakult’s 2017 net income. In line with Danone’s capital allocation priorities, proceeds from the transaction will be used to continue on its deleveraging path and to invest in accelerating organic growth and maximizing efficiencies towards 2020 for sustainable value creation. As a result of the transaction, Danone’s stake in Yakult’s outstanding share capital is reduced from 21.29 percent to 6.61 percent.

 

This week, Corbion has signed a share purchase agreement with Bunge regarding the potential acquisition by Corbion of Bunge's stake in the SB Renewable Oils joint venture.Corbion and Bunge are 50.1%/49.9% partners in SB Renewable Oils, a joint venture that operates a facility in Brazil, specializing in the production of algae ingredients, such as omega 3 rich oil, for aquaculture and animal feed. The completion of the share purchase agreement is subject to certain conditions, including finalization of long-term supply agreements, and regulatory approval.

 

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) has announced that its Board of Directors has nominated Michael S. Burke to stand for election to the board at the company’s upcoming annual shareholders’ meeting on May 3, 2018. Burke is chairman and CEO of AECOM, which designs, builds, finances and operates infrastructure assets in more than 150 countries. Before his current position, Burke served as AECOM’s senior vice president of corporate strategy; chief corporate officer; chief financial officer; and president. Before joining AECOM in 2005, he served in a variety of leadership positions at accounting firm KPMG LLP.


Olam has secured medium-term financing facilities aggregating US$163 million from the Asian Development Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency. Proceeds will be applied towards capital expenditure and permanent working capital requirements of the Company and COVL in Vietnam, Indonesia, Timor-Leste and Papua New Guinea. Earlier in the week, Olam secured a three-year sustainability-linked revolving credit facility aggregating US$500 million. Olam Treasury Pte Ltd., a subsidiary of Olam, is a co-borrower to the facility which marks Asia’s first sustainability-linked club loan. You can read the full article here.


Campden BRI’s method “Use of C-Cell to Measure Cell Structure of Baked Goods” has been accepted as an Approved Method by AACC International (AACCI), the leader in grain-based analytical methods for the food industry since 1922. The method will help bakers to objectively assess quality. Crumb structure characteristics of bread and other baked products are traditionally measured subjectively, but this new AACCI Approved Method uses the C-Cell digital imaging system to objectively characterize internal crumb structure characteristics. This could be used, for example, by bakers to measure their products against set specifications. Previously the method was only available to Campden BRI members, but it is now also available via subscription from AACCI as Approved Method 10-18.01.


Click to EnlargeAnd finally, Kerry Group announced details of a two-year partnership with Special Olympics that will include support for the 2019 Special Olympics Summer World Games in Abu Dhabi. As an Official Sponsor of Special Olympics, this new partnership will provide both organizations many opportunities to work better together to create more inclusive communities. Harnessing the Kerry spirit of opportunity, the program will focus on three areas; employee volunteering, employee fundraising and support for Special Olympics’ athlete leadership program. The partnership will initially involve Kerry employees from Ireland, Great Britain, Netherlands and Poland, with Kerry employees from across the globe having opportunities to get involved in supporting Special Olympics.


By Elizabeth Green