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ST. LOUIS, Sept. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Bunge North America, the North American operating arm of Bunge Limited (NYSE:BG – News), announced that it is purchasing the Riceland Foods elevator strategically located at the Crittenden County Port in West Memphis, Ark. The sale is expected to close by the end of the year, subject to customary closing conditions. In the interim, Bunge will begin operating the facility immediately under an agreement with Riceland and the West Memphis Crittenden County Port Authority. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“With growing world demand for U.S. agricultural products, Bunge continues to look for opportunities to strengthen our network of elevators along the Mississippi River and its tributaries to serve our export terminal in Destrehan, La.,” said Bailey Ragan, vice president and general manager, Bunge Grain. “This elevator is located in an area that grows several different crops and where production continues to increase, providing Bunge with a year-round source for a variety of crops for our customers in destination markets.”
The elevator has a storage capacity of 625,000 bushels and can handle corn, soybeans, wheat, milo and rice. Seven employees at the facility are transitioning to Bunge.
“Bunge will continue our strong relationship with Riceland with a through-put agreement for the West Memphis facility,” said Doug McNeely, Bunge Grain’s Center Gulf Region manager. “With an elevator located across the river in Memphis, we already have a good relationship with growers in the region. We hope to build on that success with our commitment to customer service.”
All open contracts with existing Riceland customers will be assigned to Bunge.