Vale in talks to acquire Bunge's Brazilian fertilizer business for $3.8 billion

The world's second largest mining company, Vale SA of Brazil, is in talks to acquire the US agribusiness and food conglomerate  Bunge's Brazilian fertilizer mining business, including its interest in Fertilizantes Fosfatados (Fosfertil) for as much as $3.8 billion.

The While Plains, New York-based Bunge, which is the largest fertilizer manufacturer in South America, is selling its Brazilian assets that include its 42.3 per cent stake in fertilizer company Fosfertil, phosphate mines and manufacturing plants.

Bunge has approximately 40 facilities – from mines to blending plants located across Brazil and produces and sells a full line of fertilizers, fertilizer services and animal feed nutrients.

The company sells some of Brazil's most well-known and trusted brands, including Serrana, Manah, IAP and OuroVerde.

Bunge is also Brazil's biggest seller of crop nutrients to farmers, but its fertilizer business suffered during 2009 and posted a loss of $127 million in the third quarter, compared with a profit of $84 million a year earlier after Brazilian farmers opted to plant soybeans, which requires less fertilizer over the fertilizer-intensive corn.

''There can be no assurance that they will result in any transaction or that any transaction will be consummated,'' Bunge officials said in a statement.