CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, U.S. — Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) announced on May 5 that it has reached an agreement to acquire complete ownership of North Star Shipping and Minmetal, enhancing the company’s European origination and transportation network through the addition of export facilities at the Romanian Port of Constanta on the Black Sea.
North Star and Minmetal operate grain elevators and bulk commodity storage and warehousing as well as port services, stevedoring operations and a shipping agency at the mouth of the Danube River. ADM was previously a partner in both North Star and Minmetal.

The Port of Constanta sits on the Black Sea at the mouth of the Danube River and is one of the most strategically significant ports in the region. The Danube River outlet into the Black Sea makes the Port of Constanta the primary ingress and egress point for bulk commodities being traded into and out of Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary.
Among the assets included in the acquisition are:
• Ten vessel berths, including seven deep sea berths.
• Port terminals with annual throughput capacity of up to 6 million tonnes.
• On-site grain storage capacity of 330,000 tonnes.
• Two floating cranes for direct barge-oceangoing vessel transfer.
• Mobile shore cranes and equipment.
• A vacuum discharge and ship loader.
• An iron ore and coal terminal located on 21 hectares.
“This acquisition helps us to meet our goal of strategic expansion though diversification and expansion of our trade and origination territory,” said Joe Taets, president of ADM Europe Middle East and Africa, and of the company’s Agricultural Services business unit. “We’ve talked about the potential to double the volume of our grain business. Here, we’re taking a great step in that direction with this strategic expansion of our European network. By becoming full owners of these facilities on the Black Sea, we’re building on the investments we have made in our Danube River network since 2011, which enhances our origination, logistics and export capabilities in Eastern Europe, and allows us to reach more customers around the globe.”
In 2011, ADM announced a substantial expansion of its grain origination, storage, transportation and export operations along the Danube River. Today, the network includes eight elevators on the Danube, with two more under construction; two inland origination facilities; shallow water port facilities in Braila; and 50 barges and six tug boats.
The new Constanta Port assets add to those origination, logistics and processing capabilities in Romania and Eastern Europe.
ADM, through its minority stake in North Star and through Minmetal — a separate 50-50 joint venture owned by ADM and North Star — previously owned approximately 45% of the Constanta assets.