27 Apr 2013

US firm to take over Australian grain marketer

1:18 pm on 27 April 2013

Australia's last listed major grains marketer, GrainCorp, is to be taken over by a US-based global food company.

GrainCorp has reached conditional agreement to sell to Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) all the shares that ADM does not already own in GrainCorp, at $A13.20 per share.

The American firm has said GrainCorp fits into its strategy of growing ADM's agricultural services and oilseeds businesses by investing in key supply regions outside the United States.

ADM already holds a 19.8% stake in GrainCorp, and has had two takeover proposals rejected by GrainCorp since making its first indicative proposal, at $11.75 per share, in October 2012.

The deal is conditional upon there being no superior offer for GrainCorp, an independent expert determining that the ADM offer is fair and reasonable, and regulatory approval in Australia and China.

GrainCorp exports some barley and malt to China, and ADM has joint-venture oilseed and soybean processing plants, and other operations, in China.

Former wheat exporter AWB Ltd and grain marketer ABB Grain Ltd are already in foreign ownership.