SYDNEY Dec 13 GrainCorp Ltd rejected
on Thursday a sweetened $2.9 billion bid from U.S. agribusiness
giant Archer Daniels Midland Co, saying the offer
materially undervalues Australia's last major independent grains
Australian agricultural businesses have been targeted by big
players in recent years, part of a global consolidation amid
intense competition to feed fast-developing countries seeking
GrainCorp is the last available independent asset of scale
in Australia, the world's second-largest wheat exporter and an
attractive market due to stable policies and good links to Asia.
ADM lifted its offer last month by 3.8 percent from A$11.75
per share to A$12.20 per share in cash -- a 40 percent premium
to GrainCorp's share price at the time of the initial offer in
"The increase in the proposed price has not changed the
board's view that ADM's proposal materially undervalues
GrainCorp," the Australian company said in a statement, pointing
to the firm's unique portfolio of assets.
GrainCorp operates seven of the eight bulk grain elevators
in eastern Australia, handling as much as 60 percent of the
region's wheat, barley, canola, chickpea and sorghum crops. It
took in 12.2 million tonnes of grain last season.
Analysts have previously told Reuters the revised bid was
still below the average acquisition multiple for Australian and
global agribusinesses based on forward earnings.
ADM did not immediately respond to emails seeking commment.