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Attorney General Announces Divestiture of Grain Elevators, Benefitting Missouri Farmers

Aug 16, 2022, 15:21 PM by AG Schmitt
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced today that on August 11, 2022, a federal court entered a final judgment requiring the divestiture of certain grain elevators along the Mississippi River before a large asset acquisition could occur between two major agriculture corporations. The Missouri Attorney General’s Office submitted a comment letter supporting the divestiture on behalf of Missouri farmers.

“The proposed acquisition between these two companies posed an existential threat to Missouri farmers. It would have eliminated crucial buyer competition between grain elevators for the purchase of corn and soybeans from Missouri farmers,” said Attorney General Schmitt. “As Attorney General, I recognize how vital farmers are to our state, and how important it is that Missouri’s farmers receive a fair price for the crops they sell. This divestiture will ensure that Missouri farmers are protected.”

Zen-Noh Grain Corporation (“Zen-Noh”) and Bunge North America, Inc. (“Bunge”) are traders and exporters of grain that purchase millions of tons of corn and soybeans from farmers located in Missouri and across the United States. Zen-Noh sought to buy 48 grain elevators from Bunge in locations primarily along the Mississippi River and its tributaries. 

Absent intervention by the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, the acquisition would have eliminated one of the few grain buyers in the Missouri Bootheel, leading to lower prices paid to Missouri farmers. The approved divestiture will ensure that Missouri’s farmers receive a fair price for the crops they sell.
 
The final judgment by the Court can be read here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/signed-judgment.pdf?sfvrsn=ce1ba749_2
 
The public comment submitted by Attorney General Schmitt can be read here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/2021-07-15-missouri-attorney-general-public-comment-re-bunge_zen-noh-acquisition.pdf?sfvrsn=196de6ae_2