In this file:
· Agriculture Trader Louis Dreyfus Cuts Jobs to Rein In Costs
· Louis Dreyfus owner pledged stake to raise $1 billion Credit Suisse loan
Agriculture Trader Louis Dreyfus Cuts Jobs to Rein In Costs
o The move follows decision to sell some assets, exit businesses
o Dreyfus announced a cost-cutting program at the end of 2019
By Isis Almeida, Alfred Cang, and Andy Hoffman, Bloomberg
January 7, 2020
Louis Dreyfus Co. is cutting jobs as the embattled agricultural commodities trader tightens its belt amid low profits, according to people familiar with the matter.
Most of the staff being laid off are in support, back office and administrative functions, said the people, who asked not to be named discussing internal matters. The cuts started in December and it’s unclear how many workers will be affected, the people said.
The move comes weeks after the firm, controlled by billionaire heiress Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, announced a cost-cutting program and “systematic review of hiring and salary increases.” It also follows the company’s decision to sell some assets and exit certain businesses, the people said.
There is a “detailed review process ongoing across the organization, which may include staff reductions, where relevant,” a spokeswoman for Louis Dreyfus said by email. The move is part of plans to “adapt to a challenging external environment,” even as the company focuses on an ambitious business strategy, she said.
The 169-year-old trading house is being squeezed by thin industry margins after years of bumper crops reduced volatility traders need to thrive. It has also been hit by trade wars and the spread of African swine fever in Asia, which has reduced demand for soybeans.
Last year, Louis Dreyfus agreed to sell...
more, including links
Louis Dreyfus owner pledged stake to raise $1 billion Credit Suisse loan
Gus Trompiz, Reuters
January 6, 2020
PARIS (Reuters) - Margarita Louis-Dreyfus borrowed $1 billion from Credit Suisse (CSGN.S) last year to buy out minority shareholders of Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), pledging her majority stake in the commodities trader as collateral, a company filing showed.
LDC’s chairwoman, who assumed control of the 169-year-old business in 2009, faces a requirement to buy shares from family minorities wishing to sell under a long-term arrangement established by her late husband Robert.
She said a year ago that she had completed the purchase of 16.6% of LDC’s holding company from other family members, bringing her stake to about 96%.
LDC had previously indicated that she had obtained a bank loan to finance the buyout, without giving details.
Credit Suisse and LDC did not respond to requests for further details.
An annual filing by Akira B.V., which represents the family trust headed by Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, said it had borrowed $1.03 billion from Credit Suisse (Switzerland) Ltd on or about Jan. 25, 2019.
“In anticipation of the borrowing of the foregoing funds, the Company pledged all of its shares of LDHBV to Credit Suisse (Switzerland) Ltd,” Akira said in filing, which was made in the Netherlands on Dec. 31.
LDHBV, short for Louis Dreyfus Holding B.V., is the structure that holds the family’s shares in LDC.
The document did not indicate when the loan should be repaid.
Last January’s share buyout was the second by Margarita Louis-Dreyfus and like the previous one concluded in 2015 it followed protracted negotiations over valuation.
OUTSIDE INVESTORS? ...