Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, the Russian-born heiress who controls the eponymous agricultural commodities trading house, secured financing to buy out remaining family members and will consider strategic partnerships, Bloomberg reports. Louis-Dreyfus revealed few details about the financing deal. A company spokeswoman said the financing was “secured via a loan,” but declined to provide terms or who the lender is, citing confidentiality agreements. The announcement resolves a major question that’s been hanging over the company. The chairwoman is obligated to buy the family stakes by the end of the year worth about $900 million under a previous arrangement, and has been squeezing the company for cash. The company spokeswoman said Louis-Dreyfus and her family trust Akira “will meet its financial obligations in compliance with calendar and payment terms,” without providing further details. The financing deal will allow LDC to implement “ambitious growth plans,” Louis-Dreyfus said in a statement. Margarita Louis-Dreyfus was appointed chairperson of LDC in 2011 and two years later lifted her stake in the company to 80 per cent from 65 per cent, in an effort to fulfil a pledge made to her late husband to consolidate control of the business.
LDC, which shipped 81m tonnes of commodities last year, is part of a small group of trading houses that dominate global agricultural trade flows. Rivals include Cargill, another privately owned company, Archer Daniels Midland, Bunge and Glencore.