GrainCorp rejects ADM acquisition bid as too low

Company remains focused on maximizing shareholder value, says chairman

Australia grain handler GrainCorp Ltd. has rejected Archer Daniels Midland Corp.’s acquisition offer of A$2.8 billion (US$3 billion) as too low, after also rejecting a previous, lower offer, according to reports.

According to ADM, the bid offers more certainty, greater value and immediate realization of potential future value for GrainCorp shareholders than the company’s standalone plan. But GrainCorp said it believes that ADM’s offer materially undervalues GrainCorp.

“It is important for all shareholders to be aware that the board remains focused on maximizing shareholder value and will remain constructive in any dealings with relation to proposals that have the potential to be in the best interests of shareholders,” said GrainCorp chairman Don Taylor in a letter to shareholders.

ADM raised its stake in GrainCorp to 19.9 percent and said GrainCorp shareholders would still be entitled to the 35 cents share dividend announced in November. “ADM showed its hand by only slightly bumping up their offer,” said Peter Esho, Sydney-based chief market analyst for City Index Ltd. “The agribusiness space doesn’t always move in in a straight line. There will come a point where GrainCorp earnings growth disappoints the market. ADM might see that as an opportunity to then re-initiate its takeover.”