27 Feb 2023 15:33

Former Rusagro executive to head up former Russian subsidiary of U.S. Bunge

MOSCOW. Feb 27 (Interfax) - Former Rusagro Group executive Nikolay Zhirnov has become the head of Bunge CIS, a former Russian subsidiary of the U.S. company Bunge, according to the Unified State Register of Legal Entities.

Zhirnov was the head of Rusagro-Center LLC from 2011 to 2021. In his role as Bunge CIS chief he is succeeding Andrzej Ruzihitsky, who had been head of the company since December 2019.

Zhirnov is also CEO of ExOil Group, in which businessman Karen Vanetsyan, the new owner of Bunge's Russian subsidiary, holds a stake.

As reported, Bunge CIS officially changed ownership as of February 13 this year. The agreement on the deal with Vanetsyan was reached last September. He owns the company through Agroinvest LLC, registered in August 2022.

The company plans to change its name in the near future.

The oil extraction plant in Voronezh region, which was part of the deal, was commissioned by Bunge in 2008, with investment exceeding $130 million. The plant is capable of processing 540,000 tonnes of feedstock and produces over 200 million bottles of sunflower oil a year. The Bunge CIS LLC portfolio includes Oleina, Ideal, Maslenitsa and other brands.

Bunge has operated in Russia since 2004. Oilseeds processing was its last Russian asset. In March 2021, it sold the Rostov Grain Terminal to former United Grain Company executives Marat Shaydaev and Alexei Chemerichko.

Bunge CIS revenue in 2021 grew almost 1.6 times to 30 billion rubles, from 19.1 billion rubles in 2020, while net profit rose to 1.9 billion rubles from 1.3 billion rubles a year earlier.

Rusagro is the leading oil and fats producer in Russia.