Plans by US grains trader Archer Daniel Midlands to sweeten some of the terms surrounding its $ 3.4 billion offer for grain handler Graincorp have failed to sway opponents.
“We’re not happy,” a spokeswoman for the farmers lobby group NSW Farmers said. “We don’t think it will provide a level playing field. “It’s a bit of a sugar coating.”
Earlier today, ADM upped the ante in its Graincorp offer. In a bid to overcome deepseated opposition to the planned takeover, the US giant agreed to a package of additional commitments as it awaits the decision of the federal government whether to allow its bid to proceed.
ADM is offering $ 12.20 in cash for each share of Graincorp on issue, as well as allowing up to $ 1 in dividends to be paid.
The Federal treasurer, Mr Joe Hockey is to decide by mid-December whether to block the bid from proceeding on national grounds.
ADM this morning said it would commit to spending a further $ 200 million on agriculture sector infrastructure, with a focus on upgrades to the railway network, implement price caps on handling charges at silos and ports, as well as ensure open access to both the grain handling and port facilities.
Additionally, it said it would establish a grower and community advisory board with representation from New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, as well as undertake regular public grower consultation.
“We have had substantive discussions with growers, policymakers and other stakeholders, and we’ve been committed to finding common ground and developing solutions that address issues and opportunities that have been raised,” ADM Grain president Mr Ian Pinner said.
“Taking into account the feedback we received, we are committing to a further package of investments and initiatives.”