TOKYO, JAPAN — Marubeni Corp. said on May 7 that it is interested in acquiring Gavilon, Reuters reported.
"We know that (Gavilon) is up for sale. We are interested, as it is a grains trader that is strong in the United States," President Teruo Asada told reporters in Tokyo, although he added no progress had been made in talks.
Reuters said several people familiar with the matter have said that Marubeni, Mitsui and Mitsubishi had all been evaluating bids for all or part of Gavilon, and that Gavilon is seeking final bids. Mitsui & Co. and Mitsubishi Corp. both said on Monday they were not in negotiations to buy Gavilon, which began exploring a sale in January.
Other potential buyers that have been mentioned in recent months include Glencore and Noble Group. Reuters said according to sources Glencore’s interest has cooled after it agreed to buy Viterra, Inc.
Marubeni said on Monday its net income rose 26 percent to ¥172 billion ($2.15 billion) - a record, as sales gained 17 percent to ¥10.6 trillion. The company had about ¥730 billion in cash on hand at the end of March. Marubeni has ¥2.15 trillion of long-term debt, Reuters reported.
If Marubeni purchased Gavilon, it would be one of the world’s largest grain traders. Marubeni handled about 22 million tonnes of grain in 2011, while Gavilon is estimated to have traded about 20 million tonnes a year.