October 2, 2019 / 3:51 PM / 11 days ago

UPDATE 1-Co-owner of Russian port terminal in talks with new investors as COFCO withdraws

(Adds details, quotes, context)

MOSCOW/PARIS, Oct 2 (Reuters) - Russia’s Deloports, which owns 75% of KSK grain terminal in Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossiisk, has started talks with new potential buyers of a stake in the terminal after Chinese grain trader COFCO withdrew from talks, Deloports told Reuters.

KSK is one of Russia’s largest Black Sea grain export terminals, which the world’s largest wheat exporter is using to supply the grain to customers in North Africa and the Middle East. U.S. trade giant Cargill owns 25% minus 2 shares in it.

COFCO, which has expanded its European grain trading presence in past years, considered buying 25% minus one share in KSK from Deloports, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters in June.

“We are not in talks with COFCO on the sale of the stake in KSK, the negotiations have been terminated”, Igor Yakovenko, Deloports chief executive and chairman of KSK’s board of directors, said.

He did not explain why the talks had failed and did not disclose the new potential buyers.

COFCO International, COFCO’s subsidiary headquartered in Switzerland, declined to comment.

KSK with its current capacity of 4.5 million tonnes of grain per year is the third largest deep-water grain export terminal in Russia’s part of the Black Sea. It plans to boost its capacity to 5 million tonnes by the end of this year and to expand it further - to 6 million tonnes - by 2021. (Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov and Gus Trompiz; writing by Polina Devitt and Gleb Stolyarov; editing by Deepa Babington and Jonathan Oatis)

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