USA — American agribusiness and food company may move its place of incorporation from Bermuda to Switzerland if shareholders approve the proposal that recently received the unanimous backing of the company’s Board.
The new changes do not affect the company’s operational headquarters which will continue to remain in St. Louis, Missouri, US, according to a report by World Grain.
If approved, Bunge would continue to be subject to US Securities and Exchange Commission reporting requirements.
The commodity trading giant’s shares would continue to be listed exclusively on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “BG.”
The Bunge board said it extensively reviewed it business operations and emerging global tax environment ahead of this proposal.
In the review, Switzerland emerged as the best jurisdiction for Bunge to align its corporate legal structure with its commercial operations in located centrally within its major markets.
The Cherry on top of the current decision is that Bunge has had substantial operations in Switzerland for more than two decades.
Continental Grain CEO resigns from Bunge Board
The news on intention to change place of incorporation follow an earlier decision by Bunge’s board to trim its board size by 11 following the departure of Paul Fribourg, who joined Bunge’s board of directors in 2018.
Paul resigned from the company’s board of directors on Dec. 5, according to a Securities Exchange and Commission (SEC) filing.
The SEC filing said Fribourg is resigning from the board and his positions as a member of the Enterprise Risk Management Committee and Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Committee “for personal reasons.”
Fribourg, who has been chairman and chief executive officer of Continental Grain since 1997, joined the board four years ago when Bunge was struggling and a takeover target.
Continental Grain carried out an activist campaign against Bunge in 2018, winning board seats and pushing for change.
Gregory Heckman, who joined the Bunge board of directors around the same time as Fribourg, eventually was named president and chief executive officer of the company.
Under Heckman, Bunge has nearly doubled its market value. Last week, Fitch Ratings revised its outlook for St. Louis, Missouri, US-based Bunge to “positive” from “stable.”
Paul leaves Bunge when it has almost 23,000 employees working across approximately 300 facilities — including grain elevators, oilseed processing plants and port terminals — located in more than 40 countries.
In the third quarter ended Sept. 30, Bunge reported net income of US$380 million while raising the company’s earnings outlook for 2022.