Noble Group Moves to Acquire Andre & Cie's Asian Operations

Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from Noble Group Limited

    SINGAPORE, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Main board-listed global supplier of
 industrial raw materials and transport resources, Noble Group Limited (NOBL),
 today announced the signing of a Conditional Sale and Purchase Agreement with
 Swiss-based Andre & Cie SA, a global trader of agricultural commodities.
 Under the agreement, Noble will acquire Andre & Cie's Asian commodity
 operations, comprising the entire issued share capital of 16 companies within
 Andre & Cie, which is currently under court protection.
     The companies will be acquired by Noble for a nominal sum.  In connection
 with the agreement, Noble has issued a guarantee of approximately
 US$64 million (approx S$115 million) in favour of the creditor banks of the
 16 companies (Andre Asia Companies) to support their ongoing, underlying
 operations.
     The Andre Asia Companies are mainly involved in supplying commodities such
 as grain, soya beans and soya meal.  Operating in Singapore, Australia, Japan,
 Indonesia, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Vietnam and the People's
 Republic of China, the 16 companies employ about 250 persons.  In FY2000
 alone, the 16 companies generated an aggregate turnover of over US$1 billion
 (approx S$1.8 billion).  The Andre Asia Companies will be operating under the
 brand, Noble Grain.
     Said Richard S. Elman, Chairman of Noble Group: "This is a unique
 opportunity for the Noble Group.  The acquisition will expand and complement
 Noble's existing range of commodities and is in line with the Group's
 continuing expansion plans."
     The agreement is subject to all requisite approvals (including, if
 required, the approval of Noble's shareholders) being obtained pursuant to the
 listing rules of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited.
     Observed Mr. Elman, "We are keeping a careful watch on developments in
 demand and the balance of supplies between producers and end-users.  Should
 the current outlook prevail, we believe Noble Grain should contribute
 positively to our earnings for FY2001."
     Noble Group recently announced sterling results for FY2000, achieving its
 best ever performance in Noble's history.  Revenues jumped 51% to reach
 US$1.2 billion (S$2.1 billion) while net profit set a Group record with
 US$21.1 million (S$36.6 million), a 234% increase over FY1999.  At year end
 2000, the Group had over US$80 million (S$140 million) in cash balances
 available to the Group while net asset value increased to its highest level
 ever at US$113 million (S$198 million) or S$0.88 per share.
 
     Andre & Cie SA
     Founded in 1877, Swiss-based Andre & Cie SA is an international trader of
 agricultural commodities.
 
     Noble Group
     The group links producers and consumers, uniquely integrating sourcing,
 marketing, processing and transportation and e-commerce through
 http://www.rawmart.com .  Outside of Asia, Noble Americas trades in coal and
 coke, fertilisers, cocoa, sugar and oxygenates and refined oil products.
     For more information about Noble, please visit:
 http://www.thisisnoble.com.
 
 

SOURCE Noble Group Limited
    SINGAPORE, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Main board-listed global supplier of
 industrial raw materials and transport resources, Noble Group Limited (NOBL),
 today announced the signing of a Conditional Sale and Purchase Agreement with
 Swiss-based Andre & Cie SA, a global trader of agricultural commodities.
 Under the agreement, Noble will acquire Andre & Cie's Asian commodity
 operations, comprising the entire issued share capital of 16 companies within
 Andre & Cie, which is currently under court protection.
     The companies will be acquired by Noble for a nominal sum.  In connection
 with the agreement, Noble has issued a guarantee of approximately
 US$64 million (approx S$115 million) in favour of the creditor banks of the
 16 companies (Andre Asia Companies) to support their ongoing, underlying
 operations.
     The Andre Asia Companies are mainly involved in supplying commodities such
 as grain, soya beans and soya meal.  Operating in Singapore, Australia, Japan,
 Indonesia, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Myanmar, Vietnam and the People's
 Republic of China, the 16 companies employ about 250 persons.  In FY2000
 alone, the 16 companies generated an aggregate turnover of over US$1 billion
 (approx S$1.8 billion).  The Andre Asia Companies will be operating under the
 brand, Noble Grain.
     Said Richard S. Elman, Chairman of Noble Group: "This is a unique
 opportunity for the Noble Group.  The acquisition will expand and complement
 Noble's existing range of commodities and is in line with the Group's
 continuing expansion plans."
     The agreement is subject to all requisite approvals (including, if
 required, the approval of Noble's shareholders) being obtained pursuant to the
 listing rules of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited.
     Observed Mr. Elman, "We are keeping a careful watch on developments in
 demand and the balance of supplies between producers and end-users.  Should
 the current outlook prevail, we believe Noble Grain should contribute
 positively to our earnings for FY2001."
     Noble Group recently announced sterling results for FY2000, achieving its
 best ever performance in Noble's history.  Revenues jumped 51% to reach
 US$1.2 billion (S$2.1 billion) while net profit set a Group record with
 US$21.1 million (S$36.6 million), a 234% increase over FY1999.  At year end
 2000, the Group had over US$80 million (S$140 million) in cash balances
 available to the Group while net asset value increased to its highest level
 ever at US$113 million (S$198 million) or S$0.88 per share.
 
     Andre & Cie SA
     Founded in 1877, Swiss-based Andre & Cie SA is an international trader of
 agricultural commodities.
 
     Noble Group
     The group links producers and consumers, uniquely integrating sourcing,
 marketing, processing and transportation and e-commerce through
 http://www.rawmart.com .  Outside of Asia, Noble Americas trades in coal and
 coke, fertilisers, cocoa, sugar and oxygenates and refined oil products.
     For more information about Noble, please visit:
 http://www.thisisnoble.com.
 
 SOURCE  Noble Group Limited