RPT-Qatar's Hassad Food eyes Brazilian sugar, poultry assets

Wed Feb 25, 2015 4:06pm EST
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(Repeats story published late Wednesday; no changes to text)

* Hassad Food says discussions to buy Brazil assets in early stage

* Looking to expand grain investments into North America

* Ukraine not favoured due to political instability

By Maha El Dahan

DUBAI, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Hassad Food, the agricultural arm of Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, said it was looking at possible purchases of Brazilian sugar and poultry assets as structural problems in those industries in the South American country created opportunities.

"We have a lot of stuff in our pipeline and Brazil is definitely part of that, not only sugar but also poultry," Youssef Hegazy, vice president for business development at Hassad Food, said on Wednesday.

Cane mills in Brazil, the world's largest sugar producer, have been struggling for years with weak sugar and ethanol prices, prompting increasing numbers of mills to enter bankruptcy protection while they restructure their debts with creditors.

"We realise there are structural issues in both industries in Brazil, like high debt," Hegazy told Reuters on the sidelines of the Global AgInvesting Middle East conference in Dubai.   Continued...