ADM raises bid for Australia's GrainCorp

By The Associated Press | April 26, 2013 | 11:29 AM EDT

Archer Daniels Midland Co. is closer to making a huge expansion into Australia with a possible deal for a grain handler there called GrainCorp.

Decatur, Ill.-based ADM has offered 12.20 Australian dollars ($12.54) to buy GrainCorp. That values GrainCorp at about $3.1 billion, including the portion of GrainCorp that ADM already owns.

ADM's two previous offers for GrainCorp Ltd. were rejected for being too low. But ADM says GrainCorp's board has agreed to recommend the offer to shareholders for approval.

ADM said it is examining GrainCorp's books and will announce a final decision about whether to move forward with the deal by end of its first-quarter earnings conference call, which has been delayed until Wednesday.

ADM has been looking to invest in overseas suppliers. Australia is a major exporter of commodities, including iron ore and wheat. ADM said GrainCorp handles 90 percent of the bulk grain exports from eastern Australia.

Shares of ADM rose 51 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $33.69 in midday trading Friday. Its shares are near the high end of their 52-week range of $24.38 to $34.28.