LUXEMBOURG and NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, U.S. — Sodrugestvo Group has closed on a joint venture with CAROL, one of Brazil’s largest farmers’ cooperatives, the company announced on Dec. 8. Sodrugestvo said the new entity, called Carol-Sodru S.A., will strengthen its presence in the Brazilian market.

Sodrugestvo owns a 55% stake in the joint venture with the intention to acquire the remaining shares over the next few years. Fernando Lauria has been appointed chief executive officer (CEO) of Carol-Sodru.

“Much of the soybean production in the Americas comes from Brazil, and CAROL, which has been at the forefront of the Brazilian cooperative movement since the 1960s, is one of the most important and respected players in the industry,” said Stephane Frappat, CEO of Sodrugestvo. “As we continue to look for new strategic growth opportunities — both geographically and in terms of our product and process offerings — it is fitting that we expand our presence in the largest economy in South America.”

Sodrugestvo has committed to provide working capital to the joint-venture for its first year of operation. Carol-Sodru’s objective is to originate 3 million tonnes of soybeans in the central northern region of Brazil by 2015.

“Two years ago, we decided to develop our presence in Brazil both for the origination and processing of soybeans and other commodities, and to achieve access to one of the most dynamic markets in the world,” said Frappat. “We are confident that we could not have found a better opportunity to begin our industrial operations in Brazil on such a reasonable scale. Sodrugestvo is proud to have been selected by CAROL as its partner during its restructuring process.”

Carol-Sodru will operate 14 silos as well as 31 fertilizer, seed and agro-chemicals distribution centers in the states of Sao Paulo, Goias, Minas Gerais and Tocantins, three soybean seed selection units and one crushing plant with a daily capacity of 1,250 tonnes.