Louis Dreyfus chief to leave: report

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Jacques Veyrat, chief executive of leading French commodity trader Louis Dreyfus, plans to leave the group within months, according to an interview to be published Wednesday.

"We have reached an agreement, not on a specific date, on the fact that I am going to leave the group in a few months," Veyrat told the economic daily Les Echos.

Veyrat said the date had not been set because there are some "ongoing operations" not yet completed, involving the divestment of energy assets in the United States, real estate, and "a pending acquisition".

"I do not have a deadline, but my departure should come soon enough, now that we have announced," he told the newspaper.

Louis Dreyfus holding company president Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, told the newspaper in the same interview that a new chief executive would be chosen "internally."

"We have no need to look elsewhere," she said, explaining that the group has "very competent leaders chosen by Robert (Louis Dreyfus)," her husband who died in 2009.

"Serge Schoen, now the president of Louis Dreyfus Commodities, is a strong figure for building the group, but he perhaps will not replace Jacques in all his functions," she said.

In February Les Echos reported that Mehdi el-Glaoui, the actor turned businessman who was close to Robert Louis Dreyfus, was a possible successor.

Asked about the group's strategic plans, Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, who controls 61 percent of the group, would only let on that they have "a number of projects" in the works.

In terms of building finances, she said that she "would never sell the family's shares" that are under the family-controlled holding unit Akira.

Other than that, "all options are possible, including listing on the stockmarket, a merger or seeking a private investor."

But "there are no talks underway at the moment," she added.

© 2011 AFP

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