FRANKFURT, April 24 (Reuters) - Germany’s Suedzucker is eyeing the acquisition of sugar assets outside of Europe and could spend 1 billion to 2 billion euros ($1.4-2.8 billion) on purchases, its finance chief told a German newspaper.
“The multiples of sugar producers have been too high for us in recent years due to the steep rise in global market prices. That has changed significantly now,” Thomas Koelbl said, according to an interview published in daily Boersen-Zeitung on Thursday.
“Brazil is still an interesting market for us,” he said.
Suedzucker, Europe’s biggest sugar producer, is seeking to expand outside its home continent as European sugar quotas are due to end in 2017, putting pressure on prices.
Earlier this month, Suedzucker warned that it expects another drop in revenue and profits this year due to depressed sugar and bioethanol prices. The profit warning triggered the biggest intraday drop in Suedzucker shares ever.
Koelbl told Boersen-Zeitung he believed that the sugar market could pick up again rapidly as sugar producers cut capacity and put investments on hold. In addition, the weather could be less favourable for sugar crops than it has been in recent years. ($1 = 0.7231 Euros) (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Anand Basu)