Cargill to sell petroleum trading business to Australia's Macquarie Group

US agri giant Cargill Inc yesterday struck a deal to sell its petroleum trading business to Australia's investment banking and diversified financial services firm Macquarie Group, for an undisclosed sum, as part of its plan to reshuffle its portfolio amid a slump in global oil prices.

Cargill petroleum business trades in crude oil and refined products, and employs about 140 people at offices in Geneva, Houston, Shanghai, Singapore and Hopkins.

The Minneapolis-based company said that it will continue to operate in the energy industry.

Its financial risk management business offers hedging strategies that utilize derivatives in petroleum, petroleum-based products, petrochemicals, olefins and polymers, as well as in natural gas, power and more than 60 agriculture and metals commodities.

Cargill, the largest US privately-held company, is also active in the biofuels and bio-industrials industries, as well as tankers shipping.

Macquarie operates in the energy markets, with a presence in oil, natural gas, LNG, power and other energy markets globally and provides clients with access to markets, financing, financial hedging and physical execution.

The acquisition will expand its footprint by adding facilities in Geneva, Switzerland and Minneapolis, Minnesota.

''Macquarie is acquiring a petroleum business with a strong team and track record of success,'' said David Dines, president, Cargill Energy, Transportation and Metals.

''With Macquarie's strategic focus and commitment to energy and commodities, we are certain this talented team will excel in its organization,'' he added.