Cargill Looks for Acquisitions

(Reuters) – Cargill Inc., one of the world’s largest private corporations, is looking for acquisitions, after the collapse in raw material and share prices cut valuations, according to a Bloomberg report citing an executive at the agribusiness and trading company.

“There will be opportunities to acquire both assets, companies and hire people that we didn’t think we’d be able to do six months ago,” Asia-Pacific President Paul Conway said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Singapore.

The company has taken non-material writedowns in the last few months, and would take more, Conway told Bloomberg, estimating the figure in the tens of millions of dollars, without giving a precise number.

In October, Cargill posted a 62 percent rise in quarterly earnings, led largely by its industrial business. Earnings rose to $1.49 billion in the first quarter ended Aug. 31 from $917 million a year earlier. Cargill, which operates in 67 countries, is a leading U.S. grain exporter, producer of ethanol and an energy trader, among many other businesses. (Reporting by Neha Singh in Bangalore; Editing by Rupert Winchester)