Bowen pressured on GrainCorp

Heffernan warns treasurer of 'intimidation' that could result from ADM takeover.

Treasurer Chris Bowen has been urged to block or delay approval for Archer Daniel Midland's proposed $3 billion takeover of GrainCorp Ltd over fears of potential market intimidation if it proceeds, The Australian Financial Review reports.

According to the newspaper,  Liberal senator Bill Heffernan said Australia's largest wheat buyer – not explicitly stated to be, but reported to be Dick Honan’s Manildra Group – had privately expressed to him fears over the potential for intimidation the takeover would present.

ADM's bid won the approval of the ACCC last month, but is still awaiting the go-ahead from the Foriegn Investment Review Board.

The AFR reports Mr Bowen may consider pushing back a decision on the merger until after the federal election. If an Abbott-led coalition was successful in winning government it would then have to rule on the proposal, with Mr Heffernen and other regional MPs such as Barnaby Joyce and Fiona Nash likely to continue their vocal opposition to the move (see Tom Elliott's Selling GrainCorp into a sweeter bid).