October 9, 2018 / 3:26 PM / 2 months ago

Sumitomo takes full ownership of large Brazil ag chemicals seller

SAO PAULO, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Japan’s Sumitomo Corp said on Tuesday that it had acquired the remaining 35-percent stake it did not already own in Agro Amazônia, a leading agricultural products supplier in Brazil’s No. 1 soy producing state of Mato Grosso.

Terms were not disclosed.

Sumitomo had first invested in the unlisted company, which also operates in neighboring states in North and Western Brazil, in 2015.

Sumitomo’s acquisition is the latest in a string of recent deals in the Brazilian agricultural products space, many by Asian companies, driven by a boom in soybean production from the country’s agricultural heartland.

The Japanese company said in a statement that it is “looking to boost Agro Amazônia’s operations by expanding its sales area, increasing the number of sales locations from the current 31 to accelerate expansion into surrounding states.”

Agro Amazônia’s Chief Executive Roberto Motta, one of its founders, said in a note to clients seen by Reuters that Sumitomo has no intention of making changes in its current management, signaling that he will stay in charge of the company.

Mato Grosso, which has an area that is two and a half times larger than that of Japan, is Brazil’s largest producer of soybeans, corn, cotton and beef.

Agro Amazônia said it serves 3,500 grain producers and 17,000 cattle ranchers in Mato Grosso and in neighboring Goiás, Tocantins, Pará, Rondônia and Mato Grosso do Sul. It sells pesticides, fertilizers, nutrition products among other items. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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