COFCO completes Nidera acquisition

The Chinese grain trader now exclusively owns Dutch agribusiness Nidera and has selected Johnny Chi, chief executive of COFCO International and COFCO Agri, as Nidera’s new CEO.

China’s state-owned grain trader COFCO International has completed the acquisition of the remaining 49 percent stake in Nidera from Cygne, the company’s founding family shareholders, to become sole owner of the Dutch grain trader and agribusiness.

COFCO also said in a statement that Johnny (Jingtao) Chi will succeed Dierk Overheu as Nidera’s chief executive, effective immediately.

“As CEO of COFCO International, COFCO Agri and Nidera, Mr. Chi will lead the teams towards the accelerated integration of Nidera and COFCO Agri into COFCO International,” the company said.

Chi was named chief executive of COFCO International and COFCO Agri — formerly Noble Agri — in January, following the sudden departure of then CEO Matt Jansen, who left the company for personal reasons.

COFCO International first acquired a 51 percent stake in Nidera in 2014, the same year it acquired its initial 51 percent stake in food commodities processor and trader Noble Agri alongside a consortium of investors led by private equity firm Hopu. In March 2016, COFCO and Hopu acquired full ownership of Noble Agri.