(Bloomberg) – Rising food prices and turbulent global commodity markets are fueling…


(Bloomberg) – Rising food prices and turbulent global commodity markets are fueling a rise in wealth for the billionaire family behind America’s largest privately-held company.

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Three other members of the Cargill family — siblings James Cargill, Austen Cargill and Marianne Liebmann — have joined the ranks of the world’s 500 richest people through their stakes in Minnesota-based food processor Cargill Inc.. Each has a net worth of $5.3 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, up 20% this year.

Family members already in the top 500 include Pauline Keinath, a great-granddaughter of founder William Wallace Cargill, and Gwendolyn Sontheim Meyer with fortunes of $7.8 billion each.

More than 20 members of the extended Cargill and MacMillan families control 87% of the private company, which was founded in 1865 with a single grain warehouse in Conover, Iowa. The Cargills ranked 11th on Bloomberg’s September list of the world’s richest families with a collective fortune of $51 billion at the time.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent tremors through global food and commodity markets that were already struggling with supply chain disruptions and low production due to drought and… other weather conditions. The UN World Food Price Index for March hit a record high, with few signs of slowing.

Big food companies have taken advantage of shortages and volatility. Agricultural trading house Louis Dreyfus Co. said in March that profits jumped 82% last year due to swings in grain prices and strong oilseed margins. Valuations of some of the largest publicly traded food companies are rising rapidly, with Illinois-based Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. up more than 25% since the invasion of Russia in late February.

Cargill has periodically faced pressure to go public, but resisted. This would dilute the family’s stake and reduce its share of the company’s annual payments. Family members receive about 17% of net profits each year as dividends, although not all of their shares are equal. Now in its seventh generation, the extended Cargill-MacMillan family numbers approximately 125 people.

In August, Cargill posted the biggest profit in its history, with nearly $5 billion in net profit in fiscal 2021 on revenue of $134.4 billion.

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A spokesperson for Cargills family office Waycrosse did not respond to a request for comment.

Gregory Broussard, Cargill’s global head of financial transactions in its risk management unit, told Bloomberg this week that the decision to ostracize Russia economically will likely persist and force markets to find new sources of risk. everything from grain to fertilizer and fuel.

“We will come out of this war on the supply side tighter than we entered it,” he said. “When people start imposing sanctions, they don’t go away overnight.”

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