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GrainCorp CEO Resigns Following Failed Takeover by ADMGrainCorp CEO Resigns Following Failed Takeover by ADM

December 2, 2013

2 Min Read
GrainCorp CEO Resigns Following Failed Takeover by ADM

SYDNEYJust days after the Australian government rejected GrainCorp Limited's takeover by Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), GrainCorp CEO Alison Watkins on Monday announced plans to resign. A search for a new leader is underway while GrainCorp Chairman Don Taylor plans to assume the CEO role temporarily beginning in mid January.

 "I had planned to leave the company at the time control passed over to ADM," noted Watkins, who joined GrainCorp in 2010, in a statement. "Given last week's unexpected developments, I feel it is in the best interests of GrainCorp, our people and customers that I move on now and allow the Board to find new leadership to take the business forward into its new phase."

Australia Treasurer Joe Hockey last month barred ADM's purchase of GrainCorp, citing national interest concerns in a case that he characterized as "one of the most significant proposed acquisitions of an agricultural business in Australia's history." ADM, the giant agricultural processor based in Decatur, Ill., still owns a 19.85 percent stake in GrainCorp.

In his Nov. 29 statement rejecting the deal, Hockey mentioned concerns that had been raised that the acquisition would reduce competition and impede the ability of growers to access the grain storage, logistics and distribution network.

"A further significant consideration was that this proposal has attracted a high level of concern from stakeholders and the broader community," he said. "I therefore judged that allowing it to proceed could risk undermining public support for the foreign investment regime and ongoing foreign investment more generally."

GrainCorp is the largest grain handler in eastern Australia and a leading exporter of grain from that country, according to ADM.

Under the failed agreement, GrainCorp shareholders would have received A$12.20 per share plus additional dividends from current and future earnings. The acquisition was valued at A$3.4 billion, which included ADM's existing ownership and net debt.

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