Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Is Something Brewing With ADM?

Usually when you keep getting hints of something, there ends up being a certain level of truth to them. That what is going on with Arhcer Daniel's Midland (ADM).

Earlier this summer ADM made waves when in Brazil they announced they were "actively" seeking investment in the country's ethanol industry. Already producing bio-diesel there, a deal for ethanol would cement ADM's place as the worlds largest producer of the fuel.

A month ago ADM underwent a management reorganization that more aligned its structure in the mold of an oil company much like CEO Patricia Woertz's previous employer Chevron (CVX). How does the oil industry grow? Mergers and acquisitions.

Now we have Cosan (CZZ) Brazil's major ethanol producer saying "will start taking its first international steps, with possible investments in ethanol plants in the Caribbean, Mexico or even in the United States in the coming years". Why does this little tidbit matter, ADM is a minority shareholder in Cosan. Cosan's financial vice president, Paulo Diniz, said "it's impossible to be a global player in Brazil. You have to be present in the world's largest ethanol market, the United States,". He continued, "there's no company which is really a global renewable energy player, and at present, Cosan's condition to move into this position is unique,".

Cosan's seemingly "unlimited" capital raising capacity opens the possibility for acquisitions of "big companies," Diniz said. He added that the company could raise in the coming years up to $15 billion through subsequent stock offerings. "With our current structure we can even dream of big steps (large company acquisitions),".


We have the largest US player wanting to get into Brazil's market and the largest Brazilian player wanting in the US market and there is already a equity relationship between the two. What is to stop a merger of equals creating an ethanol powerhouse on a global scale?

Uh, Nothing???

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