SAO PAULO Dec 8 Germany's Sudzucker, Europe's
largest sugar producer, said it was considering potential
acquisitions in Brazil's cane milling industry but had no deal
to announce, local newspaper Valor Economico reported on
Chief Executive Officer Wolfgang Heer said Sudzucker wanted
a greater presence in Brazil, according to Valor. Although he
gave no details, Heer said the company had been in discussions
with local mills.
Merger activity in Brazil's cane industry has picked up over
the past 1-1/2 years. Factors that have improved buyers'
interest and sellers' desire to reach agreements over
acquisitions have been the weakened currency and heavy debt
loads of mills.
Dozens of milling groups in Brazil, weighed down by heavy
debts, have closed or entered bankruptcy protection from
creditors in recent years as well, which has helped motivate
deals in the sector.
Some analysts, however, say some mill owners' expectations
of the value of their assets are still inflated.
(Reporting by Reese Ewing; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)