Assisting in strategic business deals, Cargill’s law team in Singapore helps the company support customers and respond to a changing market.
Big changes are taking place in Asia’s large and evolving consumer markets. Incomes are rising in the region, affecting how more than 600 million people spend their money. In response to the evolving consumer market, Cargill customers have looked to expand their presence in the area.
The Asia-Pacific team of Cargill Law has grown to help the company meet consumer and customer needs. In 1990, there was only one Cargill lawyer in Asia who covered the entire region. There are now 25 lawyers in Asia-Pacific spread out over eight locations.
For years Cargill’s law team in Singapore has been key to the company’s success in the region, helping it make important strategic acquisitions. In 2005, they navigated a complex legal situation that contributed to Cargill’s acquisition of palm plantations in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, and Papua, New Guinea. The team not only contributed to the procurement of the plantations, but also set up Cargill’s joint venture in Singapore with Temasek, an investment company that works with the Singapore government. Together, Cargill and Temasek formed CTP Holdings Pte Ltd., naming Cargill the majority shareholder in charge of operations. At that time, it was the largest acquisition for Cargill in Asia.
In 2010, the law team in Singapore assisted with the acquisition of PT Sorini in Indonesia. Legal and compliance analyses were major aspects of the Sorini deal, including the analysis of public company compliance requirements. Sorini is the only publicly listed company that Cargill has acquired. Cargill’s law team in Singapore led the risk assessment and counseled corporate leaders, enabling them to better understand the nature of the new and relatively unknown compliance requirements. The procurement of Sorini’s sorbitol operations, which use tapioca powder to produce food, beverages, cosmetics, personal care items and pharmaceuticals, added to Cargill’s starches and sweeteners product range and added a new market in Indonesia.
In 2014, the Singapore law team was again called upon to help Cargill with a major deal—the acquisition of the Poliplant Group. The move improved the company’s ability to meet increasing demands for traceable and sustainable palm oil. It also added approximately 50,000 hectares of smallholder and company land adjacent to Cargill’s existing palm oil operations in West Kalimantan. The acquisition purchase price set another new record for Cargill in Asia.
As Cargill’s businesses diversify in the region, the capabilities of the company’s Asia-Pacific law team have extended to include key legal practice areas such as mergers and acquisitions, financial services, anti-trust, anti-bribery, food law, shipping, trading, intellectual property, labor and employment—areas that continue to evolve as the legal environment becomes increasingly regulated.
Cargill’s law department has enabled the company to continually provide services to its customers in the Asia-Pacific region in an ethical manner aligned with the company’s Code of Conduct. Cargill and its customers are now better equipped to respond to consumer needs in this strong and growing market.