UPDATE 1-Bunge bows to activist pressure, adds directors to board

(Adds details from release, estimates)

Oct 31 (Reuters) - Bunge Ltd will add four directors to its board, the global grains trader said on Wednesday, bowing to pressure from activist investors D.E. Shaw and Continental Grain Co that have been pushing the company to explore a sale.

The board expansion comes at a time when the company is fielding takeover bids by rival Archer Daniels Midland Co and commodities trader Glencore amid a prolonged global grain glut that has hurt crop prices.

Bunge said three of the new directors will join immediately, while a fourth will join the board by the end of the year.

The company also said it would form a separate committee, chaired by Continental Grain Chief Executive Paul Fribourg, to conduct a "strategic review focused on enhancing long-term shareholder value".

Sources told Reuters on Tuesday that Bunge was finalizing agreements with investors D.E. Shaw and Continental Grain to add directors to its board and set up a committee to explore a sale.

Bunge also reported better-than-expected third-quarter profit, helped by higher margins from its agribusiness division.

Bunge's net income available to shareholders rose to $365 million, or $2.39 per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $92 million, or 59 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned $2.52 per share, beating average analysts' estimates of $2.39 per share, according to Refinitv data. (Reporting by John Benny in Bengaluru; Editing by James Emmanuel and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)