Louis Dreyfus Group

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Louis Dreyfus
Founded 1851
Headquarters International company based in Paris
Website http://www.louisdreyfus.com

Louis Dreyfus is a Paris-based international trading group with a $20 billion dollar annual turnover. Its real estate arm, based in New York, owns more than 2.6 million square feet of property.

Louis Dreyfus Commodities has merchandised and traded bulk agricultural commodities in international markets for almost 150 years. LDCommodities is currently active in more than 100 countries, with major offices in Beijing, Buenos Aires, Delhi, Geneva, London, Paris, São Paulo, Singapore, Wilton (Connecticut) and Memphis (Tennessee) Agricultural commodities traded today include feed grains, wheat, oilseeds and their by-products, cocoa, coffee, cotton, meat, rice, dairy, sugar and ethyl alcohol.

The company is also active in the merchandising and trading of crude oil and petroleum products, natural gas, electricity, petrochemicals, plastic resins, synthetic fibers, non-ferrous metals and raw materials.


  • In 1851 Léopold Louis-Dreyfus, the 18-year-old son of a farmer from Sierentz, Alsace, entered the grain business by purchasing wheat from local Alsacian farmers and taking it eight miles away to Basel, Switzerland, an important commercial center on the Rhine River between Germany and France. Seven years later he left Basel for Berne and extended the scope of his activities, buying grain products in Hungary and Romania.
  • In 1860 Louis Dreyfus established a network of offices in Germany and France. This happened in conjunction with improved transportation systems connecting wheat markets and transatlantic cable facilitating communication between suppliers and consumers.
  • In 1864 Louis Dreyfus headquarters transferred to Zurich, and it became an international trading operation, buying grain in the Danube basin and in Russia to meet the increasing demand of industrialized cities in Western Europe.
  • At the turn of the century (1900), Louis Dreyfus had offices throughout Europe, North and South America, Algeria, South Africa, India, Indo-China, China, Australia and especially in Russia, where 114 offices were listed in 1906. After 1917, demand turned towards America, and Louis Dreyfus responded to this by developing its presence there.
  • Fast forward to 1993 and Louis Dreyfus Natural Gas is traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • In 2001, Louis Dreyfus and Cargill form a joint venture to operate grain export facilities in the Pacific Northwest.
  • In 2006 Robert Louis-Dreyfus became chairman of Louis Dreyfus SAS. Louis Dreyfus Commodities were restructured by platform and region.
  • Also in 2006, the company opened a soybean processing plant and port facility with a daily crushing capacity of 8,000 tons in Timbúes, Argentina. Construction also began on a facility in Indiana in the U.S. that would process nearly 50 million bushels of soybeans per year, producing over 1 million tons of soybean meal for livestock and poultry feed and 80 million gallons of biodiesel for blending into motor fuel. [1]
  • In late September of 2010, it was announced that the Louis Dreyfus Group was considering an initial public offering of some of it's subsidiaries and the sale of Louis Dreyfus Commodities after the death of the family patriarch, Robert Louis-Dreyfus.[2] However, the move was blocked by his widow, Margarita Louis-Dreyfus, who inherited a majority stake in the company.[3]

Key People


  1. Louis Dreyfus Global Timeline. Louis Dreyfus.
  2. Louis Dreyfus Considers Listing. Camden FB.
  3. Louis Dreyfus Commodities chair expects twins in April. The Financial Times.