ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has reached an agreement with AXIAL PARTICIPAÇÕES E PROJETOS LTDA (headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Nicolas Landolt, CEO; hereinafter “Axial”), which is a shareholder of NATURALLE AGRO MERCANTIL LTDA. (headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Marcelo Tartaro, CEO; hereinafter “Naturalle”) to engage in the business of inland collection and export of grain and the business of the development and sale of soybean seeds in Brazil to participate in the said business through investment in Naturalle.
ITOCHU will accept shares transferred by Axial and also take up a private placement of shares issued by Naturalle to obtain 50% of the issued shares of Naturalle by the end of 2014.
Mr. Pierre Landolt, the representative of Sandoz Family Foundation, which is the parent company of Axial, founded Novartis, a leading pharmaceutical company, and Syngenta, an international seeds company. Naturalle excels in the domestic collection of the grain business involving transactions of seeds, agricultural chemicals, fertilizers, and other materials with farmers. ITOCHU intends to expand the volume of transactions involving grain produced in Brazil by maximizing synergies with the sales capability and distribution function of ITOCHU for Japan and other countries in Asia.
ITOCHU is promoting the SIS (Strategic Integrated System) strategy to establish and strengthen the global value chain from securing food resources in the upstream stage, intermediate processing, manufacturing and distribution in the midstream stage, to retail in the downstream stage. In the grain business, ITOCHU will develop and expand supply bases in South America in addition to the existing bases for the collection and supply of grain in North America (CGB and EGT) and thereby secure a stable supply of foods in the Japan market and for fast-growing Asian countries. In addition, ITOCHU intends to increase the amount of grain handled by Naturalle by utilizing ITOCHU’s management resources and stepping up cooperation with leading overseas partners. Going forward, ITOCHU will aim to expand its business considering investment in logistics infrastructure (such as an inland collection silo and port terminal) and oil extraction, as well as other businesses, to strengthen and expand the food value chain.