[The Netherlands] In the morning on 23 March 2014, under the witness of Chinese President Xi Jinping and the King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands, China’s largest agricultural products and foodstuff company COFCO Corporation (“COFCO”) and Netherlands renowned agricultural and commodity trading group Nidera signed the official investment agreement, with COFCO acquiring 51% of Nidera and establishing a strategic cooperation.
The signing of the largest ever strategic cooperation by agricultural enterprises from the two countries was conducted during Chinese President's first official visit to the Netherlands, becoming the symbol of an in-depth Sino-Dutch achievement in the agricultural industry as well as a new driving force in promoting bilateral trade and economic development between the two countries.
The cooperation is the largest ever international acquisition in the history of Chinese agricultural industry. COFCO and Nidera will establish channels to share market information and initiate cooperation in areas such as seed business.
Connecting global resources with the Chinese market
Nidera was founded in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) in 1920, and has since developed into a major international agribusiness and trading company with an annual turnover in excess of USD 17 billion, trade volume over 52 million tons, origination purchase volume over 11 million tons and agri-technological product sales over 954,000 tons. Soybean, wheat and corn are the major commodity traded by Nidera. With an advanced germplasm pool, Nidera has developed a close partnership with farmers through providing seed, fertilizer and farm chemicals. By December 2013, Nidera has had 62 subsidiaries, and more than 3,700 employees in over 18 major exporting and importing countries had engaged in domestic distribution and international trade business, with products sold to more than 60 countries worldwide.
While building its competitive advantages in the Netherlands and other European countries where it starts business, Nidera has also made consistent efforts to establish and improve its storage and logistic network in key global grain production areas in North and South America, actively promoting development of its grain and oilseeds, seeds, fertilizers and farm chemicals businesses. Nidera has a comprehensive storage and logistics network in Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and other South American regions: Inland storage capacity of 1.27 million tons, of which 477,000 tons in Argentina and 587,000 tons in Brazil; Annual throughput capacity of 13.53 million tons, of which 5.5 million tons in Argentina and 3.03 million tons in Brazil. Its storage and logistics facilities also cover North America and Europe areas such as the United States, Britain, Spain, Romania, Russia and Ukraine.
As China's leading agricultural products and foodstuff company, COFCO, with its profound history of sixty years and a fully-integrated value chain model, has built China's largest food logistics network by its wide coverage and nationwide layout of domestic storage and logistics nodes. It has also established all types of processing facilities in China’s key agricultural areas and sales area, with sales outlets penetrating China's cities and villages.
Currently, the basic pattern of global agricultural trade flow is from the Americas into Asia, and the supply from emerging markets has been growing rapidly. Brazil and Argentina takes more account in exporting markets of agriculture products such as soybean and corn. COFCO enjoys a long history of cooperation with Nidera, importing agriculture products from Argentina since the beginning of the sixties of last century, and have continued to maintain sound business partnership which forms an solid foundation of COFCO's overseas grain trade network. The investment into Nidera enables COFCO to extend its value chain overseas,to access the core of the world's grain market value chain, and also opened up the Chinese market opportunities to Nidera from COFCO's domestic network of grain warehousing, logistics, processing and sales.
Nidera CEO Ton van der Laan is very confident on this collaboration and he said, Nidera values much the huge market size and growth potential in China and Asia, and COFCO's fully-integrated value chain model is a great attraction to Nidera. The cooperation will create a win-win situation for all parties.
Frank Ning, Chairman of COFCO has indicated that the investment in Nidera will enhance COFCO’s global presence in grain storage, logistic and processing facilities, facilitate the establishment of a global value chain, the synergy associated with the consolidation of COFCO and Nidera will establish a stable grain corridor linking the global biggest grain origination markets and Asian emerging markets with the largest growing demand of grain. With the establishment of an international operating network, “purchase globally, sell globally” will be achieved which can not only meet China’s demand on moderate grain importation, but also promote a more effective operation of international grain network and global development of global agricultural industry via actively conducting third-country trade.
With signing the formal agreement, both COFCO and Nidera will leverage on each party’s complementary strength, bridge global resources and China’s market. Based on COFCO’s domestic market position and Nidera’s international trading network, COFCO and Nidera will create a worldclass global agriculture company with broad global asset footprint and strong origination capability, which is bound to play a significant role in the global grain and oil markets.