Spain Speculates on American Takeover of Deoleo

Spain Speculates on North American Takeover of Deoleo

American agribusiness and food giants Cargill and Bunge are rumored to be considering a takeover of Deoleo, the world’s biggest olive oil distributor.

Spanish financial newspaper El Economista sparked the speculation this week with claims Cargill and Bunge had each been evaluating a possible bid for the Madrid-based company.

Citing insider sources, the paper said for several weeks the firms had been “analyzing Deoleo’s accounts and Spain’s olive oil market.”

But in a statement to the CNMV, the agency that supervises the Spanish stock market, Deoleo said it was not currently in contact with any party about the possibility of them taking a major stake in the company.And Minnesota-based Cargill said its policy was not to comment on rumours or speculation. “At any one time, Cargill is assessing a number of initiatives to progress its business strategy. It is our policy that we will communicate as and when there is something definitive,” it said.

New York-based Bunge has yet to respond to a request for comment.

Deoleo (formerly Grupo SOS) markets the brands Bertolli and Carapelli in the United States. Its big stable of brands also includes Carbonell, the world’s most widely sold olive oil.

Various Spanish banks are said to want to shed their stakes in Deoleo. Among them are major shareholder Bankia, which holds over 18 per cent of the company, and Caixabank, with nearly 6 per cent.

Combined with the stock of other Spanish lenders, a total of at least about a third of Deoleo is believed to be up for grabs. This is significant because under Spanish law, companies must keep their stake in a company to less than 30 percent or launch a full takeover bid.

El Economista said Bunge had some months ago stated an intention to expand its currently small presence in the olive oil sector but its sources saw Cargill as the company with most possibilities as a potential Deoleo buyer.

It noted Cargill already had links with the Malaga-based Hojiblanca Cooperative Group – the world’s biggest producer of extra virgin olive oil – through their joint ownership of the Mercaóleo olive oil bottling plant near Malaga. Hojiblanca itself holds about a 10 percent stake in Deoleo.

Deoleo’s September 26 statement to the CNMV, the agency overseeing the Spanish stock market:{7f117795-538a-4beb-b0fe-2b59d063d429}

More articles on:

This article was last updated November 23, 2014 - 5:37 PM (GMT-5)

  • thegent

    Efecto Bankia sobre Deoleo

    Las dos ultimas desinversiones de Bankia, en IAG e Indra, han coincidido con fuertes subidas de los dos tìtulos a la venta.

    Las acciones de IAG fueron vendidas alrededor de 3 euros, venìan de una lateralizaciòn a 2 euros y han llegado a los 4.

    Las acciones fueron vendidas por Bankia con venta acelerada en un
    dìa, y siendo gestionada por varios gestores estadounidense acabò con
    ser exitosa sin afectar a las acciones IAG, que màs bien empezaron otro
    rally tras el de 2 a 3.

    Indra fue vendida a SEPI a un precio alrededor de 10 euros por
    acciòn. Doce meses antes, Indra habìa marcado suelo a 6 euros y tras la
    venta de Bankia han alcanzado incluso los 12 euros.

    Esto nos permite considerar que Bankia, aunque siendo obligada por el
    Frob a desahacerse de activos no estratègicos, no vende a cualquier
    precio, llegando a realizar la desinversiòn a un precio mucho màs alto
    del periodo anual precedente.

    Ahora fijamonos en la pròxima venta por parte de Bankia de Deoleo.

    Todo apunta a que no serà individual como con Indra ni por venta acelerada en el mercado como con IAG.

    Bankia, Caixabank y otras empresas han unido sus participaciones que
    llegan al 30% de Deoleo y encargado a JPG Morgan de encontrar comprador.

    Esto sugiere dos cosas muy importantes:

    1) El comprador, tanto un socio ya accionista de Deoleo como un socio
    industrial y financiero nuevo, podrìa verse obligado a lanzar una Opa
    sobre el restante del capital.

    2) JP Morgan tendrìa todo interès a vender a un precio màs alto posible para cobrar màs comisiones.

    Estos factores, junto a las demostraciones de arriba acerca de la
    coincidencia entre desinversiòn de Bankia y fuertes subidas de las
    acciones, pueden representar razones muy vàlidas para aprovechar una
    especulaciòn al alza de Deoleo.

    En caso fueran empresas americanas a comprarse el 30% de Deoleo, Ebro
    y Hojiblanca podrìan lanzar una Opa hostil lo que llevarìa el precio de
    Deoleo a niveles muy superiores a los actuales.

    Ya veremos si el efecto Bankia desatarà una subida en Deoleo y una puja para hacerse con el control de la empresa.