Abu Dhabi Holding selects banks for a loan to acquire Louis Dreyfus by Reuters


David Barbucia, Yosef Saba, and Jas Trombies

DUBAI (Reuters) – The Abu Dhabi government-owned holding company has chosen a small group of banks to obtain a loan of about $ 1 billion to support its acquisition of a 45 percent stake in Louis Dreyfus Commodities Trading Company, three sources familiar with the matter said.

The holding announced in November that it had signed a deal to acquire a 45 percent indirect stake in Louis Dreyfus, which would be the first overseas investment in the family-owned merchandise trading company in its 169-year history.

Two of the sources said a small group of banks, including Emirates NBD, Abu Dhabi First, Intesa Sanpaolo and Natixis, would likely provide financing for this planned acquisition.

They said Rothschild was advising the holding company on fundraising, which was slated to be completed in the coming weeks.

The Holding and Natexis did not respond to requests for comment. Emirates NBD (DU :), First Abu Dhabi Bank, Intesa and Rothschild declined to comment.

Abu Dhabi is increasingly relying on holding to consolidate strategic assets. The company owns Abu Dhabi Ports, Abu Dhabi Airport and the stock exchange operator. It also built a portfolio of companies operating in food and agriculture, and recently acquired 22 percent of the Dubai-based shipping company Aramex.

Louis-Dreyfus declined to comment on the holding’s financing of the deal. She said that the timetable for closing the deal has not changed and is still expected to be completed by the middle of this year.

Louis Dreyfus did not disclose the price of the deal, but said that at least $ 800 million of its proceeds will be allocated to repay the $ 1 billion loan the company used to bail out the Brazilian sugar and ethanol company, BioSave.

Louis-Dreyfus, one of the world’s largest agricultural commodity trading companies, agreed in a separate deal this month to sell Biocave to Raysen, a joint venture between Royal Dutch Shell (LON 🙂 and Cosan.

(Prepared by Mohamed Farag for the Arabic Newsletter – Edited by Mahmoud Salama)

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