PARIS, Feb 1 (Reuters) – French sugar producer Tereos said on Wednesday that two Romanian investors would take over the cooperative’s loss-making sugar business in the country, which plans to close for more than a year as part of a broader strategy. part of the debt reduction.
The buyers were agri-food industry investors Mihaela Neagu and Mihail-Daniel Matache, it said in a statement.
Neagu was quoted as saying that they do not plan to lay off staff and will start negotiations with farmers in the coming days as contracts for sugar beet planting in the autumn of 2023 are about to be signed.
Last year, Best Achizitii, founded by Neagu, took over another Romanian sugar factory, Bod Sugar, according to local media reports.
Tereos, the world’s second-biggest sugar producer by volume, has been shedding international assets, including its starch business in China, to reduce the group’s heavy debt and boost profitability.
It had said in October that it had struck a deal with a group of Romanian farmers to sell its Ludus factory, one of the last remaining sugar mills in the country.
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A spokesman for Tereos said: “Farmers have not been able to find funding and have no state support, so we have resumed our plans to close the mill when two investors made offers.”
The spokesman declined to disclose financial details of the sale.
The deal is expected to close next week.
Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide, Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten and Barbara Lewis
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