October 24, 2018 / 1:15 PM / a month ago

Dreyfus sugar unit Biosev may sell second mill -filing

SAO PAULO, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Biosev SA, a Brazilian sugar and ethanol producer controlled by commodities trader Louis Dreyfus, is evaluating alternatives for its Giasa plant in Brazil’s Northeast, the company said in a securities filing on Wednesday.

Biosev, which is considering the sale of assets to reduce its large debt load, last month sold its Estiva mill in the state of Rio Grande do Norte for 203.6 million reais ($55.05 million).

A sale of the Giasa plant would end the company’s operations in Brazil’s Northeast, which in the past was Brazil’s main sugar producing region but has long lost importance to the center-south area, where currently 90 percent of cane processing takes place.

Biosev said in the filing that it has not yet signed a binding contract to sell the mill and is evaluating “strategic alternatives” for the asset.

The announcement comes after shares of the company soared more than 50 percent in the last three trading sessions at Sao Paulo’s B3 exchange, causing the bourse to seek explanations from the company.

Reuters reported on Monday that Biosev had hired adviser Datagro Financial and the investment unit of Banco Santander Brasil SA to find buyers for some of its mills.

A source following the process told Reuters that the company could sell one of its plants in the Sao Paulo state and the three mills it has in Mato Grosso do Sul state, in Brazil’s center-west, a new frontier for cane processing.

$1 = 3.6984 reais Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Additional reporting by José Roberto Gomes and Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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