By Sybille de La Hamaide
PARIS (Reuters) - Archer Daniels Midland Company plans to cut 127 staff at its recently acquired Neovia animal feed business in France to eradicate job duplication, the head of the group's animal nutrition department said on Tuesday.
Chicago-based ADM took over Neovia for 1.54 billion euros ($1.73 billion) this year as part of the U.S. farm giant's strategy to expand in the fast-growing animal nutrition sector.
Most job cuts will be at Neovia's former headquarters in Saint-Nolff in the northwestern region of Brittany, with some at its research lab in Chateau-Thierry, east of Paris.
The plan was put forward to unions on Tuesday.
About 66 employees will be affected in addition to some people leaving who will not be replaced and temporary contracts that would not be renewed. Job losses will be seen in human resources, finance, legal, communications and marketing.
"We will share these services within ADM, at regional and global level," ADM Animal Nutrition President Pierre-Christophe Duprat told Reuters.
He said other regions would be affected by the global reorganization but declined to say how many jobs were at stake.
Neovia has a limited presence in North America but a large one in Europe, Southeast Asia, and Central and South America.
As of the end of last year, it employed 8,360 people worldwide, with 1,070 of them in France, making up the bulk of ADM Animal Nutrition's global staff.
The group will slow the acquisition rate after Neovia made about 20 acquisitions over four years, Duprat also said.
"We need to consolidate what has been purchased, improve the business unit's efficiency, perform organic growth and then we'll see," he said.
(Reporting by Sybille de La Hamaide; Editing by Jan Harvey and Edmund Blair)