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Louis Dreyfus issues bond, retains family control

Louis Dreyfus Commodities, the trading arm of Louis Dreyfus Group, is tapping the debt markets in order to raise money for expansion, taking pressure off a listing.

Louis Dreyfus Commodities, the trading arm of Louis Dreyfus Group, is tapping the debt markets in order to raise money for expansion, taking pressure off a listing.

The commodities trading giant that had revenues of just under $60 billion (€47 billion) in 2011 has issued a $350 million bond, the first in the company’s 160-year history.

“This transaction will enable LDC to increase its financial flexibility as well as diversify its sources of funding to support its growth strategy,” said Serge Schoen, chief executive of the Dutch-based group.

A spokeswoman for the group said the bond issue wouldn’t affect the family’s ownership.

The privately held group is 51% owned by the founding family, which control the shares through a trust. Louis Dreyfus was founded in 1851 and began as a grain trader.

Analysts say the tapping of the debt markets should ease pressure on the group to list on a stock exchange, which would dilute family ownership. 

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