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Commodities giant Louis Dreyfus plans to soon raise capital in the public markets, reports Javier Blas of The Financial Times.In a rare interview, Serge Schoen, chief executive, told the Financial Times that privately held Louis Dreyfus planned a 40 per cent boost in investment over the next five years compared with the 2006-11 period.
“We will be certainly making more acquisitions than we have done in the past,” he said.
The company aims to fund this expansion with a mix of its cash flow and, for the first time, via the capital markets. “We have a strong balance sheet, but we want to diversify our sources of capital,” including “raising public debt through bonds”, said Mr Schoen. The company has yet to decide the size of any bond issue, but initial estimates put it at around $500m in the next few months. Mr Schoen also revealed that LDC-SEV, the sugarcane company in which the trader holds 65 per cent of the shares after the 2009 merger of its Brazilian sugar assets with Santelisa Vale, was preparing for a potential listing. “It does not mean that is certain, but it means that the IPO route is open for our subsidiary.”
According to Reuters, Louis Dreyfus is the world’s largest trader of rice and cotton. Louis Dreyfus was found 160 years ago by Leopold Louis-Dreyfus. In case you were wondering, he was the great-grandfather of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who played Elaine from Seinfeld.