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  • By Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Global AgInvesting Media

Louis Dreyfus Family Members Look to Sell $1Billion Stake

Louis Dreyfus family members have requested that Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, the controlling shareholder of the company, buy out their stake. The family members in question own 20% of the company, but are looking to sell 16% of their stake worth approximately $1 billion, according to people familiar with the situation, reports the Financial Times.

Ms. Louis-Dreyfus, who became the controlling stakeholder of the group upon the death of her husband, Robert, in 2009, has been in contact with banks, investigating ways for the purchase to be financed. One strategy being considered is to bring in a strategic investor, which could see a sovereign wealth fund buying the stake.

Members of the Louis-Dreyfus family have retained control of the company since its founding in 1851 by the 18-year old Léopold Louis-Dreyfus, but recently Margarita Louis-Dreyfus has increased her stake in the company from 65% to 80% after buying out other family members, gaining herself a ‘supermajority’ that gives her the right to push through management decisions.

Akira, the family trust through which Ms. Louis-Dreyfus controls the group, stated earlier this month that it was prepared to raise its stake in Louis Dreyfus Holding B.V. Akira currently holds approximately 80% of Louis Dreyfus Holding B.V., which controls approximately 90% of the company, with the remaining 10% being owned by employees.

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