ADM's CEO continues to expect closing of Graincorp acquisition by year-end

CHICAGO, Sept 25 Wed Sep 25, 2013 4:26pm EDT

CHICAGO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Archer Daniels Midland Co continues to expect to complete its acquisition of Australian grain handler Graincorp Ltd by the end of the year, the U.S. agribusiness giant's chief executive officer said on Wednesday.

CEO Patricia Woertz reiterated the previously announced timeline as ADM continued to wait for regulatory approval of the nearly A$3.0 billion ($3.1 billion) deal from China and Australia. Graincorp has an edible oils facility in China.

"We're very anxious to put that (Graincorp) as part of our family and part of our portfolio," Woertz said in comments before a gathering of business leaders in Chicago.

ADM is one of four large players known as the "ABCD" companies that dominate the flow of agricultural goods around the world. The others are Bunge Ltd, Cargill Inc and Louis Dreyfus Corp.

ADM's planned purchase of Graincorp, announced in April, is the latest move in the rapid consolidation of the global grains sector amid intense competition to feed fast-developing countries like China.

Global expansion is central to ADM's long-term growth strategy, with the Graincorp deal expected to increase exports to China and the Middle East, Woertz said.

ADM on Monday said it was scouting locations for new corporate headquarters because the company is becoming more global. ADM's headquarters have been located in Decatur, Illinois, about three hours south of Chicago, for the past 44 years.

Chicago business leaders at the meeting on Wednesday said they were ready to welcome ADM to the city. City officials and ADM have discussed a potential move to Chicago,

"We're keeping our options open and we're looking," Woertz told the crowd on Wednesday. "Stay tuned."

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