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Sucden signs preliminary terms for major Russian sugar venture

At the end of January 2019, leading French soft commodities group, SUCDEN, signed preliminary terms with the TRIO Group of companies for a strategic relationship in sugar production in Russia. As part of the proposed agreement, SUCDEN will become the majority partner in TRIO's sugar business and beet growing areas.

The potential transaction will allow for further development of the sugar factory in the Yeletsky district of Lipetsk, one of the top three sugar plants in Russia.

TRIO’s sugar factory is a modern unit capable of processing ten thousand metric tons of sugar beet a day. The plant produces around 180,000 metric tons of sugar a year, and its new sugar silo, with a storage capacity of 60,000 metric tons, offers the automated ventilation and air conditioning required by industrial customers. The plant is close to the company’s own beet growing areas.

The planned partnership will combine the strengths, resources and competencies of the two companies to enhance the efficiency of operations through applying best practice and serve clients with excellence. The two parties are currently finalizing the conditions of the deal that remains subject to all necessary approvals.

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SUCDEN is a private French group with a turnover of around $6 billion. It is global commodity merchant, grower, processor, logistics provider, distributor, trader, broker and ship owner. The group’s key activities are in sugar, cocoa, coffee, ethanol and derivatives brokerage. The company buys and ships around nine million metric tons of sugar. The Group’s headquarters are in Paris, and it has offices in more than 25 countries, as well as logistics and processing facilities in several locations in Africa and Latin America. In all, it employs around 4,700 staff.

SUCDEN entered the Russian sugar market in 1998 with the relaunch of an agricultural and industrial development initiative. It is one of the country’s top four sugar producers, with activities embracing agriculture, processing and distribution. The group cultivates 160,000 hectares of arable land and grows a mix of sugar beet, wheat, barley, sunflowers, peas and corn. It operates three mills, in the Lipetsk, Penza and Krasnodar regions of Russia. These have grown to process more than 3,000,000 metric tons of sugar beet a year. The resulting sugar production is now about 500,000 metric tons. SUCDEN’s mills and farming activities play a significant role in their local economies, with SUCDEN employing more than 3,700 people in Russia.

TRIO Group of companies is a full-cycle agricultural holding that supplies agricultural products and services to the Russian market. It was established in 1997 and has grown steadily in production and financial performance. It has expanded its footprint in sectors such as grain production, potato farming, dairy cattle breeding, sugar production and trading, and grain trading. It employs more than 2,500 people. With 89,000 hectares cultivated in six districts of the Lipetsk region, and two complexes for dairy cattle breeding, the group produces 950,000 metric tons of sugar beet, 250,000 metric tons of cereals, 63,000 metric tons of chip potatoes and 32,500 metric tons of raw milk, in addition to the sugar production mentioned above.