October 16, 2008
Bunge takes stake in Vietnam port
Bunge Asia, the Asian operating arm of agribusiness giant Bunge Limited (NYSE: BG), has taken a 50% stake in the owner/operator of Vietnam's Phu My Port.
The port is located on the Thi Vai River, approximately 70 km from Ho Chi Minh City and near a large number of commercial feed mill operations. It is the only commercial dry bulk port in Vietnam capable of receiving large, Panamax-class ships.
In 2004, Bunge secured exclusive access to the port for shipments of agricultural commodities. Acquiring an ownership stake will enable Bunge to invest alongside its partners to expand the operation's capacity and traffic. Plans call for adding new storage facilities and more efficient discharging equipment that should increase capacity significantly in the next several years. Bunge is developing plans to construct a soybean processing plant within the site as well.
The transaction involves the acquisition of SSI Logistics, the French subsidiary of France's state-owned SSI/EMC Group. SSI Logistics owns a 50% stake in Baria Serece, the owner/operator of Phu My Port.
Bunge says the investment gives it with greater opportunity to serve customers in the growing market for agricultural commodities in Vietnam--a fast growing market for soybean meal and other agricultural commodities. Market forecasts call for aggregate volumes of soybean meal, corn and wheat imports to increase by approximately 10% per year over the next five years.