Former GrainCorp chairman and wheat farming giant Ron Greentree has come out in favour of the takeover attempt of GrainCorp Ltd by Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), offering the United States agribusiness giant a key ally in its bid to finalise the deal, according to The Australian Financial Review.
Mr Greentree said growers should support the $3 billion deal because it would give them more access to global markets and that GrainCorp would be better positioned to continue investing during drought years because ADM's multinational make-up would allow it to offset an Australian drought with revenues from elsewhere in the world.
New South Wales (NSW) growers in particular have been vocal in their opposition to the deal, and have pressured Treasurer Chris Bowen to block the takeover attempt.
“As growers we have the opportunity to underwrite our future prosperity by accessing more international markets and resources through the proposed purchase of GrainCorp by ADM,” Mr Greentree said, according to the AFR.
“It is my belief that the opportunity this presents for Australian growers to become more competitive and to achieve sustainable growth by tapping into ADM's global network of resources, markets and buyers should be embraced.”
Mr Greentree had in May expressed reservations about the deal, and about the sincerity of ADM's pledge that it intended to keep GrainCorp's infrastructure open to third parties (see Tom Elliott's Selling GrainCorp into a sweeter bid).