Australian regulator approves ADM takeover of GrainCorp

SYDNEY, June 27 Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:18pm EDT

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SYDNEY, June 27 (Reuters) - Archer Daniels Midland Co's takeover of bulk grain handler GrainCorp overcame its first regulatory hurdle after Australia's competition watchdog said it would not oppose the A$3 billion ($2.8 billion) deal.

Despite opposition from Australian farm groups, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said on Thursday it would not reject or place conditions on the takeover, which still needs approval by Chinese regulators.

"The ACCC concluded that the proposed acquisition would be unlikely to substantially lessen competition as the merged entity would continue to face competition from a number of sources," ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said in an emailed statement.

Analysts had expected the ACCC to pass the deal.

ADM secured the deal for GrainCorp in April but in a sign that it expected regulatory scrutiny, the offer included an extra payment for shareholders from October to reflect any delay in approval by China.

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