ADM expects to close GrainCorp acquisition in early 2014

by Jeff Gelski
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DECATUR, ILL. – Archer Daniels Midland Co. expects to soon achieve all regulatory approvals for the company’s acquisition of GrainCorp Ltd. and to close the acquisition early next year. Decatur-based ADM, however, had no news to report on a potential sale of its cocoa business during an Oct. 29 earnings conference call to discuss third-quarter financial results.

Seven out of nine jurisdictions have cleared the acquisition of GrainCorp, an Australian agribusiness, said Juan Luciano, executive vice-president and chief operating officer for ADM.

“In the third quarter we received clearance from South Africa, Japan, the European Commission and South Korea,” he said. “We continue to work with authorities in Australia and China to achieve the final approvals.

“Earlier this month, the Australian treasurer issued an interim order which commits the government to a decision by Dec. 17 at the latest. Based on this, we expect closing to be sometime in the first quarter of 2014.”

In May of this year ADM announced plans to acquire GrainCorp in an offer that implied an aggregate transaction value of about A$3.4 billion ($3.2 billion).

In June, ADM said it was engaged in discussions about the potential sale of its cocoa business. In the third quarter ended Sept. 30, cocoa and other results continued to improve sequentially although they decreased $24 million compared to the year-ago quarter.

“In our ongoing portfolio management efforts, we continue to focus on cocoa,” Mr. Luciano said in the Oct. 29 call. “We are happy to report that business conditions improved in the third quarter, as we suggested would happen on our last call, and we’re very proud of the way our team capitalized on the improved business environment. Regarding discussions about the potential sales of this business, we have no news to report.”
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