WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Shares of Bunge Ltd. bolted upward late Jan. 19 in trading on the New York Stock Exchange amid speculation regarding potential takeover interest from Archer Daniels Midland Co., Decatur, Ill.
After trading within a narrow range most of the trading session, Bunge shares jumped $7.92, or 11%, to close at $77.56. The close represented the highest price for Bunge shares since July.
The Wall Street Journal reported ADM has approached Bunge about a possible takeover bid. The Journal suggested a bidding war between ADM and Glencore P.L.C., Baar, Switzerland, could ensue. Measured by market capitalization, Glencore is the largest company of the three, at $58 billion; versus ADM, at $23 billion; and Bunge, at $11 billion (following the Jan. 19 surge).
Shares of ADM, Bunge and other grain trading companies have lost ground in recent months because of a difficult trading environment and sluggish export demand.Bunge is marking its bicentennial in 2018. The company was established in 1818 by Johann Peter Gotlieb Bunge in Amsterdam. The company began operations in Argentina in 1884 and was headquartered in South America for much of the 20th century. Its North American business is headquartered in St. Louis. Ahead of an initial public offering, Bunge moved its corporate headquarters to White Plains, N.Y., in 1998. Three years later, after 183 years as a private, family-owned company, Bunge shares began trading publicly on the New York Stock Exchange.