ADM offers $200m sweetner for Graincorp bid
THE firm behind the proposed takeover of Australia's largest grain handler has added a sweetener to the deal, including more than $200 million for extra infrastructure.
Archer Daniels Midland announced a suite of "additional commitments" to its takeover proposal for Graincorp today.
The package was the second such promise from the firm - a move aiming to gain further grower and political support as a decision deadline looms for Treasurer Joe Hockey.
ADM promised the extra $200 million for infrastructure improvements focused on rail projects, price caps on handling charges and a commitment to "open access" for port services.
Graincorp currently holds the vast majority of grain access and handling arraignments for the export industry from east coast ports.
But the takeover proposal has raised eyebrows in the Coalition; with senior party figures opposing the takeover on the grounds it would put a monopoly interest in foreign hands.
ADM grain president Ian Pinner said the firm had worked "constructively" to create value for grain growers as well as shareholders on both sides of the proposal.
"We have had substantive discussions with growers, policymakers and other stakeholders, and we've been committed to finding common ground and developing solutions that address issues and opportunities that have been raised," he said.
"Taking into account the feedback we received, we are committing to a further package of investments and initiatives to help ensure that Australian agriculture is able to serve a key role in meeting growing global demand."
The commitments also included a promise to create a "grower and community advisory board" including representatives from New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.
The latest sweeteners follow an extra $50 million for planned capital expenditure in Australia over the "next few years", among other measures.