WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Jan. 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Bunge Limited (NYSE: BG) today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Vale S.A. (NYSE: VALE) under which Vale will acquire Bunge's fertilizer nutrients assets in Brazil, including its interest in Fertilizantes Fosfatados S.A. (Fosfertil), for $3.8 billion in cash. Net proceeds after taxes, transaction fees and expenses will be approximately $3.5 billion.
Under the terms of the agreement, Vale, a Brazil-based global mining company, will acquire Bunge's 42.3% interest in Fosfertil, as well as Bunge's wholly owned phosphate mines and related production facilities in Brazil. The total annual phosphate rock production capacity of Bunge's nutrients assets and its share of Fosfertil is approximately 3 million tons. Bunge will retain its retail fertilizer operations in Brazil and will enter into a supply agreement with Vale through 2012, with an option to extend it for one additional year. Bunge will also retain its fertilizer operations in Argentina and the United States, and its 50% stake in its joint venture with Office Cherifien des Phosphates in Morocco.
Alberto Weisser, Bunge's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer stated, "This transaction is an opportunity to immediately realize the value of these assets at an attractive price. It allows us to redeploy capital to increase the scale of our global agribusiness and food & ingredients businesses, and to further expand into complementary value chains such as sugar. We see compelling opportunities for growth by building on our global footprint and leveraging our commercial, logistics and risk management capabilities across a larger product portfolio. We believe this approach will deliver greater shareholder value over the long-term. Additionally, Bunge intends to use a portion of the proceeds to reduce outstanding debt.
Weisser continued, "It's an opportune time for Bunge to exit the upstream fertilizer business. To continue to grow it would have required significant capital that, in the face of uncertain international fertilizer price and local currency environments, we believe is better allocated to other opportunities. Additionally, large global mining companies are entering the industry and diversifying their portfolios. We are pleased that this business will join Vale, which shares with Bunge a long-term commitment to Brazil."