PARIS -French sugar producer Tereos said on Wednesday that two Romanian investors would take over the cooperative’s loss-making sugar business in the country, which it had planned to close for over a year as part of a wider strategy to reduce debt.
The buyers are Mihaela Neagu and Mihail-Daniel Matache, investors in the agri-food sector, it said in a statement.
Neagu was quoted as saying they did not plan to cut jobs and would start negotiations with farmers in the coming days as the sugar beet for the autumn 2023 campaign is due to be contracted.
Best Achizitii, a company founded by Neagu, took over another Romanian sugar factory, Bod Sugar, last year, according to local media reports.
Tereos, the world’s second largest sugar producer by volume, has been divesting international assets, including its starch activities in China, to lighten the group’s heavy debt and boost profitability.
It had said in October last year that it had reached an agreement with a group of Romanian farmers to sell its factory located in Ludus, one of the country’s last remaining sugar processing plants.
“The farmers did not find the financing nor the support from the state so we had resumed our plans to close the factory when the two investors came with an offer,” a Tereos spokesperson said.
The spokesperson declined to give financial details of the sale.
The transaction is expected to be finalised next week.