Cofco to buy control of Noble Agri for $1.5bn

Commodities trader Noble Group gets debt from its loss-making agriculture unit off its books, while Cofco gains an international trading platform.
Cofco is a major buyer of grains
Cofco is a major buyer of grains

Cofco has agreed to pay $1.5 billion in cash for a 51% stake in Noble Agri, the loss-making agricultural unit of Hong Kong-based Noble Group, continuing the Chinese state-owned grain trader's recent deal-making spree as it seeks to secure the country's food supplies.

Cofco acquired a majority stake in privately-held Dutch grain trader Nidera in late February.

Cofco said a consortium of international investors led by private equity firm Hopu, which was founded by Fang Fenglei, the chairman of Goldman Sachs Gao Hua Securities, are set to join it as minority co-investors in the deal. Cofco will hold two-thirds of the investment vehicle, with the balance...

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