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December 23, 2015
 
Noble sells remaining stake in Noble Agri to China's Cofco
 
 

Noble Group will sell its remaining 49% share in Noble Agri to Cofco Corp for US$750 million, the company announced this week.

 

The Singapore-listed commodities trader could also receive as much as US$200 million in additional amounts depending on the future growth of Noble Agri, according to a Channel NewsAsia report.

 

The successful agreement between Noble and Cofco means that the former had raised more than the US$500 million amount initially pledged via asset sales. Proceeds from the transaction will be used for debt payments.

 

"After completion of this transaction, Noble Group's financial metrics will be well in excess of those required of an investment grade credit," said the company's press statement.

 

Uncertainties over Noble's financial situation had prompted likeliness that the company's investment grade rating will be downgraded - by Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's- to a "junk" status if the situation does not improve.

 

Cofco is China's biggest food company which, prior to the current agreement, already owns 51% of Noble Agri, which was bought for about US$1.5 billion last year.

 

In 2015, Noble's shares had tumbled 65% as commodity prices sunk and allegations rose about accounting irregularities within the company.

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