Posted: Thursday, May 10, 2012 11:00 AM
A major U.S. agri-business company has sold off its interest in a joint venture food ingredient manufacturer for $440 million.
Bunge has sold its 28 percent stake in Solae to DuPont, which helped found the food company in 2003.
Solae makes more than 1,000 food ingredients, including nutritional supplements and beverages, from soybeans.
According to a statement from Solae, the company will "increase the speed of innovation" without the joint venture structure.
Bunge expects to "redeploy capital into our strategic, core businesses" as a result of the transaction, said Drew Burke, the firm's chief financial officer, in a statement.
The bulk of Bunge's $13.5 billion in revenue during the first quarter of 2012 was derived from its agricultural commodity business, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company also has segments dedicated to edible oil processing, milling, fertilizer, sugar and bioenergy.
Bunge's total sales increased 10 percent in the first quarter, but its profits shrank more than 60 percent, to $89 million, primarily due to increased costs of goods and higher expenses.