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Glencore highest bidder in auction for distressed Brazil sugar mill -source

SAO PAULO Nov 28 Commodities trader Glencore Plc presented the highest bid in an auction for the sale of a distressed Brazilian sugar mill and is well positioned to take control of the plant, a source with direct knowledge of the process said on Monday.

The Swiss commodities powerhouse offered around 350 million reais ($103 million) for the unit, topping bids by five companies that took part in the auction for the Guararapes mill currently controlled by local firm Unialco, which has filed for bankruptcy and is under court protection against creditors.

According to the source, the second highest bid was presented by Raízen, the joint venture between Cosan SA Industria e Comercio and Royal Dutch Shell Plc , at 280 million reais.

Creditors should meet on Dec. 9 to decide on the offer.

The mill located in the main cane belt in the Sao Paulo state has installed capacity to process 2.5 million tonnes of cane per year.

Unialco has around 700 million reais in debt, so creditors will likely have to accept some losses despite Glencore's bid.

Glencore declined to comment and officials at Unialco were not immediately available for comment. Glencore already operates the Rio Vermelho mill in Junqueiropolis in Sao Paulo state. (Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Additional reporting by Reese Ewing; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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