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Louis Dreyfus owner to settle Credit Suisse debt with ADQ deal -Bilanz

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: Billionaire businesswoman Margarita Louis-Dreyfus

PARIS (Reuters) - Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, main shareholder of commodities merchant Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), will use some proceeds from a deal with Abu Dhabi's ADQ to settle a $1 billion (750.53 million pounds) debt with Credit Suisse, she told Swiss business magazine Bilanz.

LDC this month announced that it had agreed the sale of a 45% stake to state-owned investor ADQ for an undisclosed sum, opening up the family-owned group's capital for the first time in its 169-year-old history.

LDC specified that at least $800 million of the proceeds would go towards a $1 billion loan the group made to bail out Brazilian sugar firm Biosev. It did not refer to a separate $1 billion loan taken from Credit Suisse by Margarita Louis-Dreyfus's Akira family trust.

"Part of this (ADQ) transaction is planned for the settlement of the debt," she was quoted as saying, referring to the Credit Suisse loan, in an article published on the Bilanz website on Monday.

She gave no further details in the article.

Contacted by Reuters, LDC's press office said the matter related to shareholders and was not managed by LDC.

The Credit Suisse loan had been taken to buy out minority family shareholders in early 2019, increasing Louis-Dreyfus's stake in LDC's holding entity to about 96%.

The ADQ agreement led to LDC receiving its first credit rating from S&P Global and the group launching a 600 million euro ($719.4 million) bond.

ADQ, meanwhile, is in talks with banks for a loan of about $1 billion to back its planned acquisition of the LDC stake, sources told Reuters this month.

($1 = 0.8340 euros)

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz and Michael Shields; Editing by David Goodman)