The group, which is ultimately controlled by Russian-born Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, has already sold its fertilisers and metals units over the past 18 months. LDC is one of the world’s biggest traders of grains, soyabeans, coffee and cotton, but the dairy business accounted for about 1 per cent of the group’s revenues in 2018 and lacks critical mass. Along with its juice business, it had been ringfenced from the main operations as a non-core asset.
Federico Cerisoli, LDC’s chief financial officer said an exit will “have a slight positive effect” on the group’s working capital from 2019 onwards and have practically no impact on its sales. Following the exit, the group’s exposure to dairy will be a non-controlling stake in a dairy processing plant in Australia, operated by a joint venture partner.