The agribusiness Olam International has agreed to sell its remaining 50% stake in Indonesian sugar joint-venture Far East Agri to Mitr Phol Sugar Corporation for between US$82.5 million and US$85 million.
A Thai court rejected on 4th July land grab case brought by Cambodian villagers against Mitr Phol on a technicality that it cannot be treated as a class action lawsuit, according to the plaintiff’s lawyer and a land rights organisation, reported Al Jazeera.
The multinational Thailand-based sugar giant Mitr Phol is facing a lawsuit filed on behalf of about 3,000 people who were allegedly evicted from their farm holdings in Cambodia to make way for a cane sugar project, reported Reuters.
Mitr Phol Sugar Corporation, the world’s fourth-largest sugar producer, will invest US$100 million for a 50% stake in the agribusiness group Olam’s wholly-owned Indonesian subsidiary Far East Agri.
Speaking at a press conference, the President and chief executive Krisda Monthienvichienchai said that while bulk of the investment (28 bln baht (US$799.4 mln)) will be spent on its core sugar business, diversification is also the company’s priority.
This could be the start of a broader capital strike in the Queensland sugar industry as the other owners of sugar mills contemplate doing business under the restrictive rules imposed by the new regulation.
The company also has a stake in three others in the region: Angkor Sugar, Tonle Sugar Cane, and Cane and Sugar Valley. As a major supplier to Coca-Cola Co., Mitr Phol’s decision to abandon its concessions followed an audit in 2013 as part of the USA beverage giant’s “zero tolerance” stand on land appropriation.
Prakitsri said the first tranche of 1 billion baht is allocated for expanding ethanol production capacity from 1.2 million litres/day to 1.45 million litres at its plant attached the sugar factory in Kalasin province. Another 1.7 billion baht is for capacity expansion of a cogen unit by 45 MW in the same area. Commercial operation of that project is expected to start at the end of next year.