Elders confirms takeover interest, no bids being considered

SYDNEY, July 8 Mon Jul 7, 2014 10:59pm EDT

SYDNEY, July 8 (Reuters) - Australian agribusiness Elders confirmed on Tuesday it has received a number of approaches about its business, pushing its shares to a more than 18-month high, but said its board was not currently considering any offer.

Shares in Elders, which has a market capitalisation of about A$110 million ($103 million) have rallied nearly 30 percent over the last three sessions amid rumours of takeover interest.

"Elders has recently received a number of informal, incomplete and confidential approaches from several parties, proposing participation by those parties in the affairs of the company," Elders said in a statement to local stock exchange.

The company said none of the approaches were definite and were not being considered by the board.

Local media have cited private equity group Private Equity Partners and live export company Wellard as potential suitors.

Shares in Elders rose 9 percent by 0235 GMT to A$0.25 a share, just below the session high of $0.265 a share, the highest since October 2012.

Elders, which has embarked on a series of asset sales in recent months, said last week it did not know why its shares were rallying.

The company reported a half-year profit of A$6.7 million on May, up from a A$23.7 million loss in the same period a year earlier.

($1 = 1.0654 Australian Dollars) (Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Richard Pullin)