GrainCorp Junks $3B Takeover Bid By ADM, Says Offer Undervalued Company

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | November 15, 2012 2:59 PM EST

Australia's largest listed grain trader, GrainCorp Ltd., announced on Thursday it has junked the A$2.7 billion ($2.8 billion) takeover approach by U.S.-based Archer Daniel Midlands Co. (ADM), saying the cash offer of $11.75 per share "materially undervalues" the company.

The grains trader, however, said it is still open to future takeover approaches of its U.S. suitor as long as they include the best interests of GrainCorp shareholders, said Alison Watkins, chief executive officer of the Sydney-based company.

"GrainCorp's response to ADM's offer indicates the door is not closed on negotiations," Singapore-based sales trader Tom Leske told Bloomberg News. "There is still a decent probability of a bump to reach an agreed deal."

ADM's "represented a significant premium to the prevailing GrainCorp share price at the time of our approach. We believe it remains an attractive proposal," the US grains company said in a statement.

Incidentally, the Australian agribusiness announced on the same day that earnings for the 12 months to September 30 jumped 19.4 per cent to $204.9 million over a year ago.

"GrainCorp has solid and sustainable growth across all business units and a track record of delivering on our strategy," Ms Watkins said. "Our business is ideally positioned to benefit from the growth in global demand for grain  . . .  with global trade in our core grains expected to double by 2050."

It likewise announced a fully franked final dividend of 20 cents per share as well as a special dividend of 15 cents per share, registering total dividends for the full year at 65 cents per share.

Moreover, all of its business units, including storage, marketing, malt and mills, all likewise gave off a strong performance in the year to September, Graincorp said. 

On the other hand, Graincorp said it will spend $250 million  to attain a target $110 million in annual earnings growth by end of fiscal 2016. 

It will allocate more funds to boost strategic projects in its storage and logistics operations. It will also combine its oil crushing and refining operations to strengthen its oils business unit. 

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