Bloomberg News is reporting that Cargill Inc. plans to develop industrial palm-oil and processing facilities in Ivory Coast within the next five years.

The Minnetonka-based agribusiness giant may invest the equivalent of $380 million in the project, according to the country's Labor Ministry.

Bloomberg cited Cargill's West Africa director, Lional Soulard as a source.

Cargill, one of the world's largest privately held companies with more than $100 billion in annual sales, is one of the biggest cocoa exporters in the West African nation, the world's top grower of the crop.

In a statement, Cargill spokeswoman Susan Eich said, ""At any one time, Cargill is assessing a number of initiatives to advance our business strategy, which may help to further develop our businesses and grow our presence in particular markets. It is our policy that we will communicate only as and when there are any significant developments, however we do not comment on rumors or speculation."

Janet Moore • 612-673-7752