This paper revisits the global landscape of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and foreign direct investment (FDI) activity in the world sugar industry, updating ISO studies released in 2016 and 2012, and extending the ISO’s long-term commitment to monitoring these activities since a first paper was written on cross-border investments in the world sugar industry in 2007. This study provides a comprehensive stocktake of global M&A/FDI activities since 2016, looking at drivers, key players, as well as details of transactions that have occurred.
The ISO’s 2016 study concluded that since 2011, falling world sugar prices and depressed margins had tended to stymie M&A/FDI activity. The period which followed, between 2016-2018, largely continued this trend with few exceptions. More recently, the period since 2020 has seen more activity, helped by a period of higher world sugar prices and improved margins. However, despite a recovery in world sugar prices, the global economy entered a period of pronounced uncertainty, added to by the COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent inflationary pressures, as well as energy and security concerns.
In Brazil, a consolidation movement, largely driven by local companies, is gaining momentum. The focus for now remains on optimising the existing industry, rather than engaging in new-built or greenfield operations. In Europe, with the end of the production quota regime, operational capacities have had to be restructured and optimised resulting in a number of sugar plant closures. In Africa, M&A hit a hiatus, with major drivers being Ethiopia’s privatisation and Egypt’s quest for self-sufficiency. In Asia and Oceania, capacity growth has also been limited. A significant focus has also been on divestments, with a number of sales and closures identified.
The long period of low world sugar prices, prior to 2020, also prompted divestment and a reorganization of priorities among multinational traders. Significant activity has occurred within the sugar marketing and distribution space, with developments altering the concentration of the world sugar trade.
Introduction 1 Overview 2 Cane Sugar Companies BP Bunge Bioenergia Companhia Mineira de Açúcar e Álcool (CMAA) Compañia Azucarera Los Balcanes Ipiranga Agroindustrial Group Jalles Machado SA Mitr Phol Group Pantaleón Group Pedra Agroindustrial Raízen SA São Martinho SA Universal Robina Corporation Usina Batatais US Sugar 3 Beet Sugar Companies AB Sugar Cristal Union Group Nordzucker AG Michigan Sugar Company Mitsui / Dai-Nippon Meiji / Nippon Beet Pfeifer & Langen Tereos Group 4 Refiners and Other Companies Albioma Alteo Agri Limited FKS Group Lone Star Funds Magister Investments (Mauritius) MSM Malaysia Holdings Berhad 5 Trade House Activity Archer Daniels Midland Bunge Cargill Louis Dreyfus Company Czarnikow ED&F Man Olam International RCMA Group 6 Divestments AB Sugar Astarta-Kyiv Biosev SA Bundaberg Sugar Limited Cristal Union Group Hrvatska Industrija Secera (HIS) Fiji Sugar Corporation Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company Hellenic Sugar J Wray & Nephew Limited Mackay Sugar Limited Mawana Sugars Medine Group MSF Sugar Petrobrás Biocombustível Pfeifer & Langen Raízen SA São Martinho SA / Cosan Seprod Group Südzucker AG Tongaat Hulett Usina Santa Adélia Viet Nam Sugarcane and Sugar Corporation VIRO Secerana Virovitica 7 Sugar Marketing/Distribution Cargill Copersucar RAW - Raízen/Wilmar Südzucker / ED&F Man Tereos Commodities Conclusions