PARIS, May 23 (Reuters) - German sugar group Suedzucker said on Thursday it will not sell two of its French sites where it wants to end production, rejecting a buyout plan from French farmers.
Suedzucker, the European Union’s largest sugar refiner, wants to halt production next year at two factories of its French unit Saint Louis Sucre as part of a wider restructuring in response to a market slump that followed the scrapping of EU sugar quotas.
“Saint Louis Sucre is not going to sell the production sites,” Wolfgang Heer, Suedzucker’s chief executive, said in a statement.
“We are not going to stop sugar production in order to offer it to other operators, but to remove capacity from the market.”
Suedzucker reiterated it wanted to retain the two affected sites for storage activities.
French sugar beet farmers group CGB had drawn up a plan to buy the two sites for 30 million euros ($33.4 million).
$1 = 0.8981 euros Reporting by Gus Trompiz; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta