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Mubadala Is Said to Have Best Offer for BP Bunge Brazil Venture

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(Bloomberg) — Mubadala Investment Co. has offered better conditions to acquire Brazilian ethanol joint venture BP Bunge Bioenergia, the world’s third-largest sugarcane processor, said two people familiar with the matter.

The fund’s acquisition proposal has a combination of best offer and terms than the one from energy company Raizen SA, which is also in the final round of the negotiation, the people said, asking not to be named because the discussions are private. Another person familiar with the deal said Mubadala is well-positioned to make a winning offer. However a deal is unlikely to be done before the October presidential election in Brazil, one of the people said.

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BP Bunge Bioenergia could be worth between 9 billion reais ($1.7 billion) to 10 billion reais, according to Brazil’s Valor Economico newspaper. 

“We don’t comment on market rumors. As we said before, Bunge continues to assess options to exit our participation in our sugar and bioenergy joint venture,” the company said in a statement. “While we are pleased with how the business is performing, it is not core to our overall business strategy.”

Mubadala and BP Bunge declined to comment. Raizen did not reply to an email seeking comment.

Bunge has been trying to divest from its ethanol plants in Brazil for years. In 2018, it considered an initial public equity offering before entering the joint venture with BP in June 2019. A deal has now been made easier as both shareholders decided to exit.

BP Bunge Bioenergia owns 11 producing units and has an annual crushing capacity of 32 million tons of sugarcane, according to it website. In addition, it is capable of producing over 1.5 billion liters (about 396 million gallons) of ethanol, 1.1 million tons of sugar and exporting 1,200 gigawatt hours of energy annually to the Brazilian power grid. 

This would be Mubadala’s first investment in ethanol in Brazil. Raizen already is the largest sugar and ethanol producer in the country. 

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