Louis Dreyfus Commodities has no plans for an IPO, majority owner says
Privately held agricultural commodities trader Louis Dreyfus Commodities has no plans for an initial public offering (IPO), according to its largest stakeholder.
Instead, Margarita Louis Dreyfus, whose family lends its name to the company, intends to increase her stake to 80% after the trading house posted a modest uptick in corporate fortunes.
Net profit for 2014 came in marginally higher at $648m, following a near-30% decline in 2013 as severe drought conditions in parts of the US dented revenue.
At a media conference on Thursday, Louis Dreyfus said: “We are a long-term investor, and to be a long-term investor it’s very important to have family control of the company.”
While retaining a majority hold, she did not rule out the possibility of a strategic partner for the remaining 20%.
The company locks horns with the likes of Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Bunge and Cargill in the soft commodities sphere, However, unlike many of its major peers, it has been in private hands since 1851.
Weak prices, a stronger dollar and persistent bearish trends in the wider commodities space had led to speculation that the trading house was seeking another stakeholder or planning an IPO in a difficult operating climate.
Louis Dreyfus has steadily increased her holding since the death of her husband, Robert Louis Dreyfus, in 2009. Indicative of her hold on the company, she is also chairwoman of Louis Dreyfus Holdings, which owns 85% of the commodities outfit in question. The other 15% stake is held by employees.