WILTON, Conn. — Louis Dreyfus Commodities LLC said Wednesday that its tender offer for shares of Imperial Sugar Co. attracted 72 percent of the company’s stock, more than enough to allow it to complete the deal.
The company has said it plans to keep running Imperial’s small-bag packaging facility in Gramercy, according to Imperial. The plant packages the small bags of sugar sold by grocery stores and other retailers. The facility employs 95 people.
The agribusiness company announced the $6.35 per share offer in May as part of its plans to buy the refined sugar processor for about $77.5 million. The offer was set to expire last week, but was extended three times.
Imperial Sugar, which is based in Sugar Land, Texas, is a major U.S. sugar maker with products under the Imperial, Dixie Crystals and Holly brands.
Louis Dreyfus said it will exercise its option to buy additional shares from Imperial Sugar, which will allow the deal to close without shareholder approval. All of Imperial Sugar’s remaining shares will be canceled and converted into cash.
Imperial Sugar had a long history in Gramercy. It formerly operated a refinery that employed hundreds of people and was a mainstay of St. James Parish’s economy.
The refinery closed on Dec. 31, 2010. At the time, the refinery employed 283 people, most of them union members.
Imperial continued running the facility that packaged small bags of sugar carried by grocers and other retailers, such as convenience stores and drug store chains.
The old refinery then was replaced by a new $190 million plant owned in equal parts by agribusiness giant Cargill Inc.; Imperial; and Sugar Growers and Refiners Inc., a co-op with nine mills and around 700 growers. Imperial agreed to the joint venture to get access to the co-op’s raw sugar.
The new, nonunion refinery employs around 115 people. Louisiana Sugar also took over packaging for anything weighing more than 50 pounds.
In December, Cargill and Sugar Growers and Refiners announced they had bought Imperial’s piece of the refinery. Cargill and the growers each own 50 percent of the sugar refinery.