MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Cargill will spend $2.16 billion to buy animal nutrition company Provimi, the agribusiness conglomerate said Monday, strengthening and expanding its global operations.

The privately held Cargill, which is engaged in a broad array of agricultural industries, from meat production to grain trading, said that the deal includes Provimi’s global animal nutrition business, which has operations in 26 countries and more than 7,000 employees across Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America.

Cargill has more than 130,000 workers in 63 countries.

“This acquisition would mark a significant step in Cargill’s animal nutrition growth strategy and underlines our commitment to continued long term investment to meet the needs of our customers around the world,” Cargill Vice Chairman Paul Conway said in a statement.

Cargill says the two businesses will complement one another well, as Provimi has a wide range of premixes, additives and ingredients in its portfolio. Cargill says its animal nutrition business has expertise in compound feed, supply chain and risk management issues as well as other areas.

Cargill Inc. is buying Provimi from private equity firm Permira. It said Provimi has agreed to begin labor talks and will seek regulatory approval.

Cargill currently has animal feed operations in 26 countries. Last week the Minneapolis company reported that its fourth-quarter net income fell 7 percent during a period of volatile crop prices, but that its full-year earnings climbed 35 percent.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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