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Cosan, Shell sign binding deal on ethanol venture


SAO PAULO | Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:59am EDT

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell and Brazilian sugar and ethanol giant Cosan signed on Wednesday a binding agreement to create a global ethanol business, looking to benefit from growing demand for biofuels.

The joint venture, with estimated annual sales of $21 billion, was modified since its initial announcement in February to include all of Cosan’s energy generation business and 500 million reais ($283.6 million) in debt owed to Brazilian development bank BNDES.

Cosan, the world’s largest sugar and ethanol producer, also said in a securities filing that the initial accord was changed to make the venture a global biofuels provider. As a result of that, Cosan and Shell are barred from competing with the new entity.

($1=1.763 reais)

(Reporting by Elzio Barreto; Editing by Derek Caney)

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