Sofiprotéol opens the capital of its industrial holding
company Soprol to Caisse des Dépôts, to strengthen
its oil-seed processing activities
8 November 2007, Paris
Sofiprotéol, the French financial institution operating in France's vegetable oil and
plant-proteins sector, has brought all its activities concerned with processing and exploiting
oil seeds within the industrial holding company Soprol, and is going to open up Soprol’s
share capital to Caisse des Dépôts, which will have an equity stake of approximately 19%.
This partnership forms part of Sofiprotéol’s sustainable-development strategy; by
strengthening the financial resources of its Soprol subsidiary, Sofiprotéol will pursue growth
by exploiting vegetable oils produced from rapeseed and sunflower chains, in particular in
the fields of energy (through Diester Industrie) and plant chemistry.
This operation meanwhile forms part of Caisse des Dépôts’s strategy of supporting
firms with strong development potential over the long term. The investment means Caisse
des Dépôts is extending its commitment in the alternative and renewable energy-production
sector, and in green chemistry.
Strengthening Soprol’s development resources
Soprol will now have three complementary fields of activity with reinforced synergy
between those activities, based on the processing of oil seeds:
production of oils and oilcake (a protein-rich by-product used as animal feed), through
the Saipol company, a French market leader;
food activities, through the Lesieur company, a leader in the edible oils market;
energy and plant-chemistry activities, through the companies Diester Industrie (the
Diester brand being a European leader in biodiesel production), Diester Industrie
International and Novance.
Strengthening Soprol’s equity will allow Sofiprotéol to consolidate and enlarge its
approach to processing French-produced oilseeds, in collaboration with its current – and
historic – partners.
Consolidating current activities and finding areas for further growth
In order to respond to growing oil requirements, Saipol has established an extensive
programme to develop its industrial capacities so that, in 2008, they reach over 4 million
tonnes a year for crushing of rapeseed and sunflower, and nearly 3 million tonnes for refining
of the oils.
In the edible oil market, Lesieur will pursue its drive for continued innovation, in
particular by favouring nutrition and health-related activities.
In the energy and plant-chemistry markets, apart from Diester Industrie finalising its
development plan, which will give a production capacity of 2 million tonnes a year for Diester
biofuel in 2008, the activities of Diester Industrie International will continue to grow.
Innovation will be at the heart of the firm’s strategy, with strong involvement in second-
generation biofuel projects and the development of lipid-chemistry activities.
About Caisse des Dépôts: A public financial institution, Caisse des Dépôts performs public-interest
missions entrusted to it by the public authorities; financing of social housing, development of
enterprises, local and regional development, etc. It is also a significant long-term institutional investor,
particularly through its role as a strategic shareholder in subsidiaries and undertakings whose long-
term development it supports. Committed in all its business areas to a sustainable development
strategy, it also acts as a driving force in developing the carbon economy in order to contribute to
combating the greenhouse effect.
With regard to Sofiprotéol: Sofiprotéol was established in 1983, and is the financial firm in France’s
vegetable oil and plant-proteins sector. It supports the development of oilseed and protein-rich crops
by providing appropriate financial and productive resources. While pursuing a sustainable investment
initiative with constant attention to innovation possibilities, Sofiprotéol’s role is to promote, over the
long term, the marketing and processing of crops and to develop new outlets so as to improve the
production branch’s cost-effectiveness.
With regard to Soprol: Soprol is a holding company in which the majority of the shares (about 70%)
are held by Sofiprotéol, alongside partners that are firmly rooted in upstream agricultural activities.
Soprol is associated with the Bunge group for oilseed-crushing, refining and packing (in the Saipol and
Lesieur subsidiaries) and for developing biodiesel in Europe, apart from France, (in Diester Industrie
International). Through its Diester Industrie subsidiary, Soprol is also associated with agricultural
collecting bodies, co-operatives and traders, in the form of Fidicoop and Finégoce.
The Soprol group employs 1,350 people and operates production plants at 15 locations. The total
sales value forecast for 2007 exceeds 2.5 billion euros, with a total net profit greater than 180 million
euros, and the group’s share being above 110 million euros.
Simplified Organisation Chart for the Soprol Group
33,34% SAIPOL 33,34% BUNGE
60% 96,69% 100%
INDUSTRIE NOVANCE LESIEUR
Fabien Kay - Sofiprotéol – Publicity and Communication Division
Phone: (+33) (0)1 40 69 48 58 – Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Philippe Joyeux - Caisse des Dépôts - Publicity and Communication Division
Phone: (+33) (0)1 58 50 40 00 – Email: email@example.com