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Simmons Announces Intentions to Sell Sugar Company

July 7, 1994

DALLAS (AP) _ Investor Harold Simmons says he has tentatively agreed to sell Amalgamated Sugar Co. to a cooperative of 1,600 sugarbeet growers in Idaho, Oregon and Washington for $325 million.

The agreement depends on approval by the cooperative Snake River Sugar Co., and its ability to come up with one-fourth of the purchase price and financing for the remainder.

The preliminary agreement comes as Simmons has worked to cut costs and refocus his attention on operations of his Valhi Inc. holding company. The sugar industry has faced increasing uncertainty about government subsidies and foreign competition.

Amalgamated, based in Ogden, Utah, is the nation’s second-largest refiner of sugar beets, with about 10 percent of the United States sugar production.

It was Valhi’s most profitable subsidiary last year, with net income of $19.6 million on sales of $430.8 million.

Amalgamated’s sales last year were down 6 percent from 1992, and Valhi officials blamed lower prices on an oversupply of sugar.

Simmons said he was satisfied with Amalgamated’s financial performance but agreed to listen when the cooperative made its first offer in late May.

If completed, Valhi would post a gain of more than $200 million on the sale and would use the proceeds for general corporate purposes, Simmons said.

Valhi, based in Dallas, reported a net loss of $79 million on revenue of $781.2 million in 1993.

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