Louis Dreyfus to acquire Imperial Sugar as investors try to block deal

By Oliver Nieburg

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Imperial sugar, Stock, Shareholder

Louis Dreyfus to acquire Imperial Sugar as investors try to block deal
Commodities group Louis Dreyfus has reached an agreement to acquire refined sugar processor Imperial Sugar for around $203m.

The deal is being financed through a cash tender offer and second step merger at $6.35 per share.

However, some Imperial Sugar investors dispute the sale price and complain that the company has been undervalued.

Louis Dreyfus adds sugar refining to portfolio

Mikael Morn, CEO of Louis Dreyfus Commodities LLC, said: “Imperial Sugar is a well-established operator in the sugar industry in North America, and we see an excellent strategic fit with Louis Dreyfus Commodities LLC. This transaction is an important step forward in our plan to grow and diversify our global sugar activities from sugar cane crushing and international sugar trading into sugar refining and distribution in major consumer markets.”

John Sheptor, president and CEO of Imperial Sugar, added: “This is a compelling transaction that delivers significant value for our shareholders while offering financial stability and organizational resources to allow us to continue to meet the needs of our customers.”

Undervalued?

Some investors at Imperial Sugar complain that the company shares were as high as $7.03 per share only last month and claim directors at Imperial have breached fiduciary duties to investors by undervaluing Imperial’s stock.

Law firms including Powers Taylor LLP and Harwood Feffer LLP are investigating whether shareholders have been denied adequate compensation for their shares in the buyout.

Imperial said that it expects to close the deal during the second calendar quarter of 2012.

The Texas-based company recorded sales of $228m in its first quarter (Q1) results announced in February and operating income amounting to $3.9m.

As well as sugar, Louis Dreyfus also trades in other commodities on a global scale including grains, rice and coffee. The company is headquartered in the Netherlands.

Related topics: Suppliers

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