DOJ Orders Zen-Noh to Divest Nine Elevators In Order to Proceed With Bunge Elevator Acquisition
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has determined that Zen-Noh Grain Corp. must divest nine grain elevators across nine geographic locations in five states along the Mississippi River and its tributaries as a requirement for proceeding with its acquisition of 48 elevators (35 operating and 13 idle) from Bunge North America.
Concurrently, the DOJ filed a civil antitrust suit to block the proposed deal, and another motion outlining a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would solve the competitiveness concerns cited by the department.
The defendants are two of only a small number of grain purchasers, and without this divestiture, the DOJ was concerned that the combined company would place American farmers in the position of receiving lower prices for their corn and soybeans.
If approved by the court, the divestiture would require Zen-Noh to sell nine elevators to Viserion Grain LLC, or an alternative buyer, in the affected markets within Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, and Missouri.