WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Bunge Ltd. on May 15 filed a registration request with the Brazilian Securities Commission for a potential initial public offering of Bunge Açúcar & Bionergia, the company’s sugar milling business in Brazil.

Bunge Açúcar & Bionergia owns and operates eight mills located across the Southeast, North and Midwest regions of Brazil. The company has 22 million tonnes of crushing capacity per year, as well as the flexibility to produce a mix of ethanol and sugar. The business also generates renewable electricity through its cogeneration facilities to self-sufficiently power all of its mills and sell surplus electricity to the Brazilian power grid.

Commenting on the filing in a May 16 presentation at the BMO Capital Markets Farm to Market Conference in New York, Soren W. Schroder, chief executive officer of Bunge, called the filing an important step for the division.

“It is a major milestone … in a sense that we have a business that is now prepared to stand on its own two feet, and it’s really a matter of when we activate that,” Mr. Schroder said. “The preparation and the work to get to that point has been significant, starting with getting the business to perform in a positive way EBIT-wise and to more than cover all that CapEx and other requirements from the business so it’s cash positive. So that was a major undertaking, and other big credit to the team that has done it, and it’s now promoting that segment.”

The decision to potentially separate the Brazilian sugar business builds on the company’s earlier stated intentions to focus on its Agribusiness and Food & Ingredients businesses.