Archer Daniels Midland to sell Crop Risk Services insurance unit to Validus Holdings

US agricultural commodities trading giant Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM) yesterday struck a deal to sell its Crop Risk Services (CRS) insurance business to Validus Holdings Ltd for $127.5 million.

The deal comes a month after ADM's arch rival Cargill Inc sold its crop insurance unit to Indiana-based Silveus Insurance Group for an undisclosed sum.

ADM has also put for sale its ethanol-producing corn dry mills.

The deal, which is expected to close in the first half of this year, includes a services agreement under which ADM will continue to offer insurance products and grain marketing services to CRS customers.

Post closing, nearly all ADM CRS employees will transfer with the CRS business.

''We regularly evaluate our portfolio to ensure that our businesses and assets best fit our strategy to maximize long-term returns,'' said Joe Taets, president of ADM's Agricultural Services business unit.

''We are pleased to have found a buyer in Validus that is committed to running-and growing-the business, and we look forward to continuing to work with Validus and the CRS sales team and their customers across the country. This is a good solution for ADM, our shareholders, the CRS team, and the farmers who are the foundation of our business,'' he added.