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EXCLUSIVE Olam seeking about $3 bln for London IPO of food ingredients unit – sources

  • Olam says OFI could join London’s FTSE-100 index
  • Also seeking secondary listing for OFI in Singapore
  • OFI could be listed by Q2 2022, OGA would follow
  • Olam CEO says listing to help firm step up M&A

SINGAPORE, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Olam International (OLAM.SI) is considering raising about 2 billion pounds ($2.8 billion) through a London listing of its food ingredients unit next year, sources familiar with the matter said on Friday, as the Singapore-based trading house seeks to boost its valuation and step up acquisitions.

The company, one of the world’s biggest agricultural commodity traders, is listing Olam Food Ingredients (OFI) as part of a business overhaul flagged last year to focus on the two core businesses of OFI and Olam Global Agri (OGA) after the sale of sugar, rubber and other portfolios.

“It will be a substantial IPO. It will be amongst the larger IPOs done on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in the recent past,” co-founder and CEO Sunny Verghese told Reuters in an interview, while declining to give a fundraising target.

The proceeds would allow OFI to accelerate growth and also accelerate acquisitions, he added.

“One of the reasons that we are doing this exercise of

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Farmers markets are growing their role as essential sources of healthy food for rich and poor

For many Americans, buying fresh local food at one of the estimated 9,000 farmers markets across the U.S. is one of summer’s pleasures. But farmers markets aren’t just nice amenities. Over the past 18 months, many have filled food supply gaps caused by COVID-19 shutdowns.

While numerous farmers markets shut down at the start of the pandemic, many soon reopened under state or local guidelines that mandated masks, social distancing and other precautions.

When grocery store supply chains were disrupted, consumer interest in local foods spiked, along with concerns about exposure to the coronavirus while shopping. Farmers market managers adapted swiftly, experimenting with options like prepackaged goods and drive-thru pickup.

In fact, many farmers markets enjoyed their strongest-ever sales in 2020. Affluent shoppers became more interested in buying local food, while lower-income buyers were able to use federal benefits like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Stepping into this expanded role was no mean feat – but we know from our research in city planning and urban food systems that with adequate support, marketplaces respond vigorously to crises and opportunities.

The fall and rise of urban farmers markets

Farmers have been selling their goods at public markets

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