Bunge eyes edible oil sector consolidation

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Romania Bunge

Bunge appears set to consolidate its position in the edible oils
market in order to meet growing demand amongst Eastern European
consumers and processors.

The US-based company has been linked this week to a possible acquisition of Romanian group Agricover's edible oils operations according to a report by the Flex news agency. If the deal goes ahead it is expected to grant Bunge control of the company's popular oil brands Ulvex and Soreanca, as well as their distribution and sales facilities. This would grant Bunge a strengthened foot hold in the sector, as an increasing number of multinationals move into the region to tap into growing demand for healthier edible oils. The company were unable to comment on the speculation. Agricover's figures estimate that Ulvex and Soreanca have a combined market share of 10.3 per cent, allowing Bunge to further consolidate its operations in the country to compete with its growing number of competitors. Bunge's rival, Cargill, has already made significant inroads into the Eastern European edible oils market over the last few years. In 2005, for example, the company bought up a sunflower seed factory in Ukraine capable of processing 1.2bn tonnes per day. It also got clearance to buy Romania's largest sunflower oil maker, Olpo Podari, and opened its first oilseed refinery in Russia.

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