PARIS – Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, chairperson and main shareholder of Louis Dreyfus Company, borrowed about $240 million from Credit Suisse in a reduced loan arrangement following the sale of a stake in LDC, an annual company report showed.
Louis-Dreyfus told Swiss business magazine Bilanz in late 2020 she planned to use the proceeds of the sale of a 45% stake in LDC to Abu Dhabi investment firm ADQ to settle a $1 billion loan from Credit Suisse, taken in early 2019 to buy out minority family shareholders.
The overall value of the deal with ADQ – which became the first outside investor in the 170-year-old commodity merchant controlled by Louis-Dreyfus via the Akira trust – has not been disclosed. LDC later announced it had allowed the repayment of a separate $1.051 billion loan that it had granted to its parent company.
Akira’s 2020 report filed last week showed the trust owed Credit Suisse $718.4 million of the original loan at the end of 2020, of which a further $50 million was repaid in May 2021.
On Sept. 9, 2021, Akira and allied family shareholding entity Ruethiers entered a new agreement with Credit Suisse to replace the previous one, drawing down $240.7 million the following day, when the closing of ADQ‘s stake purchase was announced, the report showed.
Also on Sept. 10, Akira received a $405.3 million dividend from LDC‘s holding as well as a $47 million share premium reimbursement from Ruethiers, the filing said.
The money received by Akira at the time of the ADQ deal, along with the repayment of the separate $1.051 billion loan, suggests that ADQ invested at least $1.5 billion in its stake.
LDC said in an emailed response that the financial terms of the ADQ deal remained confidential and its value could not be deduced from Akira’s filing.
Akira does not take media queries and discloses any public information in its filings, LDC added.
ADQ did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Financial pressure on LDC has also been eased by improved earnings from rising commodity prices and strong demand for staple crops during the COVID-19 pandemic.