Cargill completes acquisition of Continental's grain business

by Teresa Acklin
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   MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, U.S. — Nearly eight months after announcing plans to buy the worldwide commodity marketing business of Continental Grain Co., Cargill Inc. in June completed its acquisition of Continental's grain business. The U.S. Department of Justice approved the transaction, with some stipulations.

   The acquisition will not include Continental facilities in Beaumont, Texas; Caruthersville, Missouri; Chicago and Lockport, Illinois; Salina, Kansas; Stockton, California; and Troy, Ohio. Cargill also agreed to divest grain-handling facilities in East Dubuque, Iowa; Morris, Illinois; and Seattle, Washington, and agreed to make a third of its daily loading capacity at Havana, Illinois, available to third parties to be used for delivery against Chicago Board of Trade contracts.

   Cargill's proposed deal, announced last November and estimated at about U.S.$300 million, drew criticism about the growing concentration in U.S. agribusiness. Frank Sims, president of Cargill's North American Grain Division, said, “This has been a long, arduous process. We look forward to getting down to the business of melding our operations to reduce costs and improve service to our farm, feed, food manufacturing and overseas customers.”