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Oz grain again in the spotlight

Canberra’s decision to reject US-based Archer Daniel Midlands’ proposed takeover of Australia’s GrainCorp has ignited a new round of jockeying for control of crucial grain handling terminals and ports on the country’s east coast.
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The buyout was nixed primarily on the basis of the political influence of grain growers who feared the loss of control of yet more export infrastructure to offshore owners – but the failure of the deal will, ironically, lead to GrainCorp closing up-country receival stations and scaling back rail services which were to have been renewed and improved using a committed A$250m from ADM.

Although ADM has been given permission to increase its GrainCorp holding to around 25% there is now an expectation that GrainCorp itself may be broken up or at least shed assets – and possible buyers, such as Western Australia’s CBH Group, have already flagged their interest.

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