May 5, 2016 / 6:31 PM / in 2 years

UPDATE 1-Dreyfus may sell stake in new Brazil grains terminal -source

(Adds context and comment from Amaggi shareholder)

SAO PAULO, May 5 (Reuters) - Agricultural commodity trader Louis Dreyfus may sell a stake in a new northern Brazil grains terminal to book profits from its early participation in the project, a company source said on Thursday.

The Tegram terminal, at Itaqui port in Maranhão state, is one of the new terminals under development in north-northeastern Brazil that put cargoes closer to some export markets.

Dreyfus, along with its local grains trading partner Amaggi, has a 25 percent share in the project. Swiss trading house Glencore PLc and local companies NovaAgri and CGG Trading control the remaining three-fourths of the project.

“This was a project that really worked well, so the company is willing to sell a part of it to pay back some of the investments it made,” said the company source. He requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the possible sale.

Bloomberg reported earlier on Thursday that Louis Dreyfus and Amaggi have hired HSBC Holdings Plc to sell part or the entire 25 percent stake they hold in a terminal at Itaqui.

It said the sale process had already started.

An Amaggi shareholder said the company is not selling its stake in the project, however. The shareholder, who also asked not to be identified, said there were talks with an investor recently but no deal was reached.

Spokesmen for Louis Dreyfus and Amaggi were not immediately available for comment.

A third source, an executive at a trading firm that operates at Itaqui port, said he was unaware of any current negotiations regarding stake sales.

Itaqui’s Tegram is nearly 2,500 miles (4,000 km) closer to the Panama Canal than Brazil’s top soy exporting port of Santos, which gives it an advantage in shipping soy and corn to Asia.

The facility receives grains produced in the agricultural frontier area of Matopiba in the northeast and grains coming from the northern part of Brazil’s No. 1 soy state Mato Grosso.

The terminal moved 3.34 million tonnes of grain in 2015, far beyond its initial target of 2 million tonnes, and is expected to increase shipments to 4.5 million tonnes in 2016.

Partners have invested 600 million reais ($170 million) in the terminal complex and warehouses.

Reporting by Nikhil Subba, in Bengaluru, Marcelo Teixeira, Roberto Samora and Gustavo Bonato, in Sao Paulo; Editing by Maju Samuel and Tom Brown

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