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Bunge agrees to sell California rice mill

TAGS: Business
PeopleImages/iStock/Getty Images handshake over business deal
Mill produces medium-grain rice for domestic and international foodservice distributors, grocers and wholesale suppliers.

Bunge Ltd. recently announced that it has agreed to sell the assets of the Pacific International Rice Mill (PIRMI) in Woodland, Cal., to Farmers’ Rice Cooperative (FRC). The completion of the sale is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be finalized by the end of 2020.

“As part of our portfolio review, we determined that this mill has limited connections to Bunge’s broader value chains,” Bunge chief executive officer Greg Heckman said. “We will work closely with the new owners to make the transition as smooth as possible for employees and customers.”

Since 1963, PIRMI has been, and continues to be, a leading producer of medium-grain rice for domestic and international foodservice distributors, grocers and wholesale suppliers. PIRMI’s primary assets are the rice milling, drying and storage facilities in Woodland as well as market-leading product brands.

The PIRMI facility employs more than 60 experienced management and operations team members who are expected to join FRC and continue serving their customers.

FRC is a grower-owned marketing cooperative established in 1944, with annual sales averaging $250 million. Specializing in premium-quality japonica sushi rice, FRC is owned by hundreds of farm families located throughout the Sacramento Valley. FRC’s corporate office is based in Sacramento, Cal., with production facilities located in West Sacramento, Colusa and Sutter counties of California. FRC currently has more than 200 employees throughout northern California.

“We are excited about the opportunity to add the PIRMI facility, high-profile brands and dedicated employees to the FRC family,” FRC president and CEO Rick Rhody said. “FRC will provide the same values and culture to the PIRMI facility that its growers, employees and customers have been accustomed to. Our commitment, resources and industry knowledge will only enhance the products, services and value provided to all growers and customers. The acquisition is also an opportunity to enhance FRC’s value-added businesses, including stabilized rice bran, flour milling, sake rice and extruded products.”

Rhody added, “The synergies gained by this acquisition will enhance shareholder value and provide FRC members the value, stability and long-term growth vital to members success and their ability to ‘Own Their Future.’”

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