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Marubeni buying Gavilon for about $3.6 billion

Associated Press Published: May 29, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — Japan's Marubeni Corp. is buying Nebraska-based grains company Gavilon Holdings LLC for about $3.6 billion in a move to capitalize on rising demand in developing nations for grain and fertilizer.

The privately-held Gavilon owns and runs a grains, fertilizer and energy commodities distribution and storage network.

Marubeni buys and distributes various industrial and consumer goods and grains.

Marubeni said Tuesday that the acquisition will give it access to more than 140 grain loading sites, a large grain storage and distribution network in the U.S. and sites in regions including Brazil, Australia and the Ukraine.

It will also give Marubeni the ability to tap into Omaha-based Gavilon's fertilizer terminals and storage and blending facilities in 59 U.S. locations.

Marubeni said this acquisition will help it take advantage of surging global demand for grain and fertilizer as developing nations grow. Once the deal is complete, Marubeni said it expects to be able to handle 55 million tons of grain annually.

Gavilon was created in 2008 when ConAgra Foods sold its commodity trading and grain storage operations to the Ospraie Special Opportunities fund. The private investors paid $1.6 billion in cash and agreed to give ConAgra $525 million in debt securities in the deal.

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