Brazil’s Bunge Soy Deal Breaks Antitrust Laws: Says Owner

The owner of two strategic soy crushing plants in southern Brazil has appealed to the country’s antitrust body for a probe into a signed supply deal between US-based grains trader Bunge and brewer Cervejaria Petropolis which is leasing the facilities.

According to Reuters, in documents filed with regulator CADE late on Monday, the plants owner Imcopa said the deal falls foul of antitrust laws because the parties involved were already working together to implement it before they sought CADE’s approval.

Bunge, in a response to Reuters, said: “The parties are following all legal requirements for the full implementation of the transaction.”

Bunge previously tried to buy the plants but the deal fell through. The assets are coveted because they produce high value soy byproducts for export using non-genetically modified grains. One plant is also close to Paranagua, a key port in southern Brazil.

Imcopa accused Bunge of trying to hide the true legal nature of the contract with Cervejaria Petropolis, which it said goes beyond a simple supply deal and grants Bunge control over the assets.

Under the two-phase agreement, signed in August 2021, Bunge would supply soy and soy molasses to Cervejaria Petropolis. The brewer, in turn, would supply processed products for Bunge, according to CADE filings describing the operation.

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