Cargill is to acquire Netherlands-based animal feed company Provimi for an enterprise value of €1.5bn from the private equity fund Permira.

The deal further expands the portfolio of Minnesota-based Cargill, the world’s biggest agricultural commodities trader.

Cargill beat rival bids from China’s New Hope Group and from a Dutch consortium of the chemicals company DSM and animal feed company Nutreco. Both Cargill and Provimi said the key factor in the deal was the complementary nature of the two companies’ markets and product lines.

The Provimi purchase comes as higher incomes lead to more widespread meat consumption in emerging markets. As livestock producers industrialise in response to growing demand, they typically feed animals grain and soya meal, mixing vitamins and other nutrients as additives