Bunge North America, St. Louis, said it purchased the margarine assets of The C.F. Sauer Company(CFS) which includes the margarine plant of its subsidiary,Dean Foods Company , in Sandston, Va., and the margarine production and packaging assets at the CFS facility in New Century, Kan. Financial terms were not released.

"Bunge is a global leader in margarine production and this purchase enables us to expand our position in the U.S. market to support our customers," said Soren Schroder, president and CEO, Bunge North America.  "With this additional capacity, we are strengthening our integrated food and ingredient value chain to provide additional products, improved risk management and better logistics to customers."

The two facilities have an annual capacity of nearly 400 million pounds of margarine.  Products range from five gram portion cups that are used by restaurants to one-ton totes sold to food processors.

"Adding C.F. Sauer's margarine assets to Bunge's business opens up several exciting innovation opportunities for our lower saturated and reduced trans fat products," said Rodney Perry, vice president and general manager, Bunge Oils.  "With the addition of the Sandston facility and its dedicated team, this new shipping location will help us better serve existing customers and reach out to new customers in an important market.  We also look forward to working closely with CFS in the transition at New Century."

Bunge said it will begin operating the Sandston facility immediately.  Bunge intends to relocate the margarine production and packaging assets from the New Century facility to other Bunge packaging plants.  Until that relocation can occur, CFS will continue to produce margarines for Bunge under a co-packing arrangement in order to meet Bunge's customers' expectations.

The Sandston plant currently operates with about 160 employees. Subject to normal hiring procedures, Bunge said it intends to hire most of the employees.

As the North American operating arm of Bunge Limited, Bunge North America is a vertically integrated food and feed ingredient company, supplying raw and processed agricultural commodities and specialized food ingredients to a wide range of customers in the livestock, poultry, food processor, foodservice and bakery industries. Bunge Limited is a leading global agribusiness and food company headquartered in White Plains, N.Y.