The merger of two French multinational grain trading businesses is imminent, with InVivo expecting to formally agree to acquire Groupe Soufflet within the next fortnight.
In January this year, the two companies announced that they were in exclusive talks to create a combined business with some €10 billion annual revenues. Soufflet owns the Southampton Grain Terminal and a maltings in Burton-on-Trent, while InVivo sold its UK interests through the 2019 divestment of its half share in Gleadell Agriculture to partner ADM, with the wholly owned business now trading as ADM Agriculture.
InVivo chief executive Thierry Blandinières told the Reuters agency this week that negotiations had “covered 95% of the ground” and that he expected a “signing in the next 10 to 15 days”.
Once agreed, the deal will have to be approved by EU and national competition authorities. This regulatory clearance could take between three and nine months to complete.
Soufflet will retain its separate brand identity within the combined group, which will integrate the two companies’ international grain trading activities with Soufflet’s cereals processing into flour and malt.