Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. is in advanced talks to acquire Chesterfield commodity trader Bunge Ltd., a deal that could spell the end for a company independent for two centuries and reorder the financial environment that enables farming across the globe.
ADM and Bunge, which has a market value of about $11.5 billion, could reach an agreement as early as this week, people familiar with the deal said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations are private. The takeover talks could still fall apart, while other bidders could still be interested in acquiring Bunge, the people said.
Bunge is the B in the so-called ABCD companies that dominate global agricultural trade, alongside ADM, Cargill Inc. and Louis Dreyfus Co. Founded to broker grain trades in Amsterdam in 1818, it’s now headquartered in White Plains, New York, and supplies ingredients and expertise in the Americas, Eastern Europe and Asia. But its profits have plunged after years of bumper crops, prompting industry executives to talk of consolidation.