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US firm makes US$2.7 billion bid to take control of Australia's GrainCorp

SYDNEY--Australian agribusiness GrainCorp on Monday said it had received a AU$2.68 billion (US$2.76 billion) all-cash takeover offer from U.S. food giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).

Graincorp said its board was considering the indicative, nonbinding bid from the leading agricultural commodities trader which is prepared to pay AU$11.75 for each Graincorp share.

Shares in the company were at AU$8.85 before being placed in a trading halt on Friday and soared 41 percent to AU$12.51 early Monday.

“The GrainCorp board is reviewing the proposal and has not yet formed a view on its merits and will keep the market informed of any material developments,” Graincorp said in a statement.

It confirmed that ADM last week increased its stake in the Australian business to 14.9 percent following the purchase of a significant block of GrainCorp shares, equivalent to 10 percent of the company, on Friday.

GrainCorp services about 30,000 grain producers in the eastern states of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria and South Australia and has one of the largest grain storage, handling and logistics networks in the nation.

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