ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS — Louis Dreyfus Company Holdings BV (LDC) announced on Sept. 10 the completion of the sale of an indirect 45% equity stake in LDC to Abu Dhabi-based ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies.

It marks the first time in the private company’s 170-year history that it will operate with ownership outside the family. LDC announced its intention to sell the equity stake to ADQ last November.

“The transaction completed today represents the start of a new chapter for LDC, as we welcome ADQ into our shareholder group and initiate a new phase of growth for the company, guided by a shared vision for LDC’s future,” said Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, chairperson of the company’s supervisory board.

LDC said it remains focused on putting its strategy into action, while fulfilling its key role to keep essential agricultural product supply chains moving safely, reliably and responsibly. It said a portion of the transaction proceeds has been invested into LDC, in the form of an early and full repayment of a $1.05 billion intragroup long-term loan granted by LDC to its parent company, originally maturing in 2023. 

These funds will support the pursuit of the company’s long-term business plan and strategy. 

“This partnership with ADQ reinforces LDC’s position and financial strength to accelerate strategic investments as part of our growth plans and ambitions, including in new areas such as plant-based proteins, as well as in projects to move further downstream in several of our existing business lines,” said Michael Gelchie, group chief executive officer of LDC. “I look forward to continuing to work alongside the supervisory board to advance our shared ambitions for investment in innovations and technologies that can transform food and agricultural production sustainably, building on LDC’s leading position in core merchandizing activities and strong performance in 2020.” 

The transaction price was not disclosed but the companies in November said a minimum of $800 million will be invested into LDC.

ADQ’s broad portfolio of major enterprises spans multiple sectors, among them food and agriculture. As part of its strategy for the sector, the company seeks to generate financial returns and strengthen the economic cluster in the UAE.

Louis Dreyfus is one of the so-called “ABCD” quartet of the world’s leading commodity trading houses, along with US-based Archer Daniels Midland Co., Bunge Ltd. and Cargill.