“Imperial Sugar has a strong company heritage and looks forward to joining the US Sugar family,” Mike Gorrell, president and CEO of Imperial Sugar, said in a statement. “I am confident that the move will create production, logistics, and supply chain synergies and efficiencies that will benefit both companies and our customers, as we continue to bring them the quality products and brands they know and expect.”
The Imperial Sugar business was acquired by LDC in 2012. Under the terms of the deal, US Sugar will take on Imperial Sugar’s consumer-facing brands, a cane sugar refinery in Port Wentworth in Savannah, SC, and a sugar transfer and liquification facility in Ludlow, KY.
“We are confident that this transaction will enable Imperial Sugar to further expand its activities as part of US Sugar, and we wish the business continued success in the future,” said Enrico Biancheri, global head of LDC’s Sugar Platform, in the release. “For LDC, this strategic decision does not impact our broader sugar merchandising business, to which we remain fully committed, and enables us to refocus resources on growing this core business, building on our strong global position.”
In a separate release, US Sugar said the purchase of Imperial Sugar will increase its production and distribution capabilities, as well as expand its portfolio of sugar products.
“We’re excited to combine our operations with Imperial Sugar’s port refinery, consumer brands, and sugar processing capabilities,” US Sugar President and CEO Robert H. Buker Jr. stated. “Together, US Sugar and Imperial Sugar will provide our customers with a more dependable, secure supply of sugar.”
LDC anticipates that the transaction will close in 2021 after regulatory approvals are secured and customary closing conditions are met.
Several other major agribusiness firms have also announced plans to step away from certain sugar-related businesses in recent years. Earlier this year, Cargill revealed plans to divest its 50% stake in the global sugar trading joint venture Alvean to Brazilian sugar player Copersucar. Bunge sold its sugar trading business to Australian company Wilmar Sugar Pte. Ltd. in 2018. Last year, Olam entered into an agreement to sell its 50% interest in the Indonesian sugar joint venture Far East Agri to its partner Mitr Phol Sugar Corporation for $82.5 million.