* Family wants to buy ADM's stake in Mexico's Gruma
* ADM previously agreed to sell stake to businessman
* Bid for 23 pct stake in Gruma worth around $400 mln
MEXICO CITY, Nov 15 The controlling family of
Mexican corn flour processor Gruma plans to match a
bid from businessman Fernando Chico Pardo to buy a 23 percent
stake in the company currently held by U.S. agribusiness giant
Archer Daniels Midland.
A spokesman for Carlos Hank Gonzalez, a grandson of Gruma's
late founder, Roberto Gonzalez Barrera, told Reuters on Thursday
that the family is putting together a financial plan to match
Chico Pardo's offer.
"This is a transaction of around $400 million. A financial
package (to fund the stake purchase) is being put together by
all the family," spokesman Fernando Solis said.
He said that while Chico Pardo moved faster, the family -
which controls 50.05 percent of the company's stock, according
to Thomson Reuters data - has the first right to acquire the
stake held by ADM, one of the world's largest processors and
traders of grains.
Last month, ADM reached a preliminary deal to sell its stake
in Gruma to Chico Pardo, chairman of the board of Mexican
airport operator Asur.
Gonzalez Barrera, also chairman emeritus of financial group
Banorte, died in late August at the age
Considered one of the country's business leaders, Gonzalez
Barrera also served as chairman of the board of Gruma, a global
company with operations spread across Latin America, the United
States, Europe and Asia.
Gruma shares, which shot to an all-time high of 42.10 pesos
a day after Chico Pardo's bid was made public, erased modest
gains to end down 0.14 percent at 36.30 pesos on Thursday.
Jackie Anderson, from ADM's media relations, said in an
e-mail to Reuters that the company did not have any further
comments. Chico Pardo could not be immediately reached.
ADM's preliminary deal with the Mexican businessman is
non-binding, subject to negotiation of a definitive agreement,
and approval by ADM's and Gruma's boards of directors. It also
requires regulatory approvals.