Noble Group to sell US$750m agribusiness JV to cut debt

News | 4 February 2016

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Beleaguered commodities trader Noble Group has been given the green light from investors to sell its stake in Noble Agri – its agricultural joint venture - to China’s Cofco.

Around 90% of investors approved selling an initial US$750m stake at a meeting in Singapore. Noble Group’s decision follows the plan to negotiate a series of challenges the company currently faces. These include the trader’s debt pile, as well as a 75% fall in its share price due progressively falling commodity prices.

The move is also a response to allegations of aggressive accounting practices that emerged in early 2015.

Noble Group’s debt amounts to around US$2.6bn due in 2016. The company is rated junk by leading rating agencies that scrutinise its cash generation capacity.

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