Published:  12:40 AM, 13 August 2017

COFCO shakes up European operations

Chinese food commodities trader COFCO International is restructuring operations in Europe which will involve relocation and job cuts, as the state owned firm continues to integrate businesses it bought three years ago, sources say. COFCO group, which owns trading arm COFCO International, agreed in 2014 to acquire Rotterdam-headquartered grain trader Nidera and the agribusiness of Singapore-listed Noble Group for more than $3 billion, but has struggled to integrate them.

The overall aim of the integrated COFCO International is to directly challenge the "ABCD" quartet of agricultural commodity traders - Archer Daniels Midland , Bunge, Cargill and Louis Dreyfus Company that have long dominated the global business. COFCO International was inaugurated in April 2017, bringing together Nidera and its Swiss-based grain arm COFCO Agri, under new Chief Executive Johnny Chi.

Sources with knowledge of the matter say COFCO International is in the process of scaling down the Rotterdam office and re-focusing much of the division's overall activities at its Geneva headquarters. The overall number of job cuts expected is unclear although the sources said they were likely to be significant.

-Reuters, Paris

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