Commodity Trader ED&F Man Names Ex-Glencore Veteran Chairman

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Commodities trader ED&F Man Holdings Ltd. has named a former Glencore Plc veteran trader as chairman.

Chris Mahoney, who retired as chief executive officer of Glencore’s agriculture arm in 2019, will join the London-based trader on March 15 as non-executive chairman, the company said in a statement in response to Bloomberg questions. Chief Financial Officer Lukas Paravicini is leaving the company, best know for hauling sugar and coffee around the world.

ED&F Man has been trying to turn its business around after years of losses, selling under-performing assets and returning to its trading roots. It has recently sold part of its brokerage unit, offloaded some sugar mills in Mexico and refinanced more than $1 billion in debt after the coronavirus delayed the sale of assets that would be used to pay down loans.

“Chris’ appointment complements the recent addition of two independent non-executive directors to the board and a chief restructuring officer, as we refocus the group on its core trading roots,” said Rafael Muguiro, who currently holds the post of chairman and chief executive officer. “His contributions as chairman will be very welcome as we continue to move forward in this new chapter in our history, against a challenging external environment.”

Mahoney stepped down as CEO of the agriculture arm of the world’s top commodities trader after 17 years in the post. He oversaw the 2012 acquisition of Canadian handler Viterra Inc. and the sale of a stake of about 49% of the agribusiness to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and British Columbia Investment Management Corp.

Traditional Structure

His appointment follows ED&F Man’s decision to return to its traditional governance structure, with Muguiro now set to focus on his CEO duties. He had held both posts since Phil Howell left the top job in 2017. Paravicini, who joined the company from New Zealand’s dairy giant Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd. in 2019, is leaving for a new role, the company said.

Mahoney, a graduate of Oxford University, spent 17 years at Cargill before joining Glencore in 1998. He won a silver medal in rowing at the Moscow Olympics in 1980, when Margaret Thatcher let individual British sports authorities decide whether to join the U.S. boycott over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Suedzucker AG, Germany’s largest sugar producer, has a 35% stake in ED&F Man.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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