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COFCO to buy Noble Group's agricultural unit

Staff writer |
China's largest grain trader COFCO Corporation will pay $1.5 billion to acquire a 51-percent stake in the agricultural unit of Singapore-listed supply chain manager Noble Group, Noble said.

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The deal will lead to a joint venture that will link COFCO's grain processing and distribution business with the agricultural unit of Noble Group.

Headquartered in Hong Kong, China, Noble Group is one of the world's largest traders in agricultural, minerals and energy products. In 2013, it was ranked the 76th among the Forbes 500 companies.

Noble said that the deal will significantly improve its credit profile and that it is also consistent with its "asset-light strategy to partner with industry-leading players in each of its platforms to build world-class businesses and leverage the use of its capital base."

COFCO is expected to benefit from the supply chain capabilities of Noble Group in agricultural product markets.

The deal came after another major deal by COFCO to buy a 51- percent stake in Netherlands-based Nidera, a leading trader of grains and soybeans among other agricultural commodities.

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