ADM reassures on GrainCorp

Grains giant says takeover will improve operation, not hike fees or restrict port access.

The company that wants to take over Australia's largest grains handler has reassured growers it won't restrict access to ports or hike fees to uncompetitive levels.

The federal government is currently considering whether to approve a $3.4 billion offer for GrainCorp from US grain giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), which the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) approved in June.

ADM grains president Ian Pinner says he understands the passion in the argument around agriculture and its assets but in his own discussions with farmers and others involved in grain growing, he says he has found people are very encouraged by what ADM could bring to the country.

"When we talk about the investment that we'll make in the supply chain ... and the commitments that ADM is making, we're not going to change the way GrainCorp operates, in fact we want to improve it," he told ABC radio.

He said growers would keep access to ports and up-country silos.

The GrainCorp chief executive and management team would also stay in Australia and the company will set up a grower and community advisory group.

"With regards to fees ... it's not in our interests to be uncompetitive in a marketplace that has a lot of choice," Mr Pinner said.

"Our goal is to ensure through being the preferred supplier that we're bringing as much grain through those assets as possible and to do that we have to be competitive."

Last week, Treasurer Joe Hockey said the government needed more time to consider all relevant issues and advice from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) before making a decision on the takeover.

That decision will now be made on December 17.

The Nationals oppose the sale, which would place most of Australia's grain infrastructure in foreign hands.

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