SAO PAULO (Reuters) - At least three potential bidders have expressed an interest in buying two soy processing plants put up for sale by Brazilian grain crusher Imcopa Importação, Exportação e Indústria de Óleos SA, two sources familiar with the bidding process told Reuters.
The bidders are U.S.-based Bunge Inc (BG.N); CJ Selecta, owned by South Korea’s CJ Cheiljedang (097950.KS); and the local unit of Russia’s Sodrugestvo [SODRU.UL], according to the sources, who requested anonymity this week to discuss the confidential process.
Proceeds from the plants, operated by Brazilian brewer Cervejaria Petrópolis under a leasing agreement, would repay Imcopa’s creditors under terms of a restructuring plan approved by the company’s lenders in late 2017.
The combined debt attached to the two plants, which the buyers will have to assume, is 1.043 billion reais ($260.25 million) as of December 2018, according to public records.
The bids are due on Dec. 4 and the minimum asking price for each of the plants is 25 million reais ($6.23 million).
According to Imcopa’s restructuring plan, the lessee of the Cambé and Araucária plants in Paraná state can be the sole operator of the assets until they are sold via a judicial process. Under the restructuring terms, the leasing agreement with Cervejaria Petrópolis will cease to exist once that process is concluded.
Cervejaria Petrópolis, which is fighting in court for the right to maintain the leasing contract through 2024, declined to comment.
Bunge and Sodrugestvo did not immediately respond to a request for comment. CJ Selecta and seller Imcopa declined to comment.
An evaluation of the plants on sale in Imcopa’s restructuring plan, dating back from 2017, states their combined value is 536.3 million reais.
Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Franklin Paul, Tom Brown, David Gregorio and Richard Chang