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ADM promises cash splash

12 Jun, 2013 02:00 AM
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ARCHER Daniels Midland (ADM) is promising to establish a grower-based advisory panel to provide GrainCorp management with feedback and ideas from the grainbelt if it wins control of the big Australian grain business.

US-based ADM has also opened its cheque book this week as it ramps up efforts to win farmer support for its $3.4 billion takeover bid.

It's offering to give $1 million a year to rural community charity projects and establish a scholarship program to help 15 agricultural science students every year.

It's also promising to pump an extra $50m more into capital improvements to GrainCorp's country silos, ports and freight network.

That's on top of $250m already budgeted by its takeover target for strategic upgrades during the next three years.

ADM grains division president Ian Pinner also expects to be able to find operating efficiencies that allow him to commit $40m to $60m or more in annual improvements and maintenance to existing infrastructure assets.

In a renewed effort to hose down widespread unease about the food and farm commodity giant's potential control of 80 per cent of Queensland, NSW and Victorian grain export sites ADM has freshened up its assurances to the farm sector.

Mr Pinner emphasised the multinational giant would also maintain full and open access to traders and exporters at country sites and ports if its $3.4 billion bid was approved by government regulators and GrainCorp shareholders.

He has also flagged the prospect of GrainCorp returning to the fertiliser supply business, via ADM global fertiliser trade links.

But despite reiterating plans to promote Australian grain quality to the world and open the local grain trade to new markets serviced by ADM in 140 countries, Mr Pinner was also still deflecting industry concerns about a lack of grain stock transparency at GrainCorp's storages.

The transparency issue and ADM's potential powerful control of about 80pc of export sites in the three States are major concerns for the farm sector.

They are also key topics to be explored by a federal Senate inquiry into foreign ownership of the supply chain which will provide recommendations to the the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

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    READER COMMENTS

    richard hart
    12/06/2013 6:35:21 AM

    Call me a pessimist but any promises that ADM are making to the Australian grain industry regarding extra spending are going to come out of the pockets of the Australian grain grower, this mutinational is not a benevolent institution. Remember Australian grain growers built and paid for this infrastructure and now for a few sheckles we are going give control to forces beyond our influence. All the profit generated goes out of town while we watch and pay.
    Deregul8
    12/06/2013 7:03:47 AM

    Silly conspiracy nut farmers simply don't get it! There is more to this gig than putting grain on a boat and sending it to foreign lands. ADM is headquartered in Decatur, Illinois. A city of around 40,000 people of which 80% are directly or indirectly employed by ADM. Value adding of oilseeds in their specialty. The East Coast grower will be far better off with a multinational balance sheet investing in the industry than Australian investors. This is a good news story especialliy if you still had your shares.
    tugger
    12/06/2013 7:53:02 AM

    Dereg-What do you mean "still had your shares"?
    Jock Munro
    12/06/2013 8:30:15 AM

    You can 'bet your life' that an ADM grower advisory body would be made up of appointees who would do and say as they were told. Growers shoud be aware that it is almost five years to the day that the grower single desk was abolished by the Rudd Government and the Liberal Party and the multi national merchants from across the globe have joined the rush to get into the Australian grains industry because they know that they are free to gouge producers with impunity. The sale of Graincorp to ADM must be blocked by the Treasurer.
    Deregul8
    12/06/2013 9:12:25 AM

    You could block it by not accepting the offer Jock. Ooops you sold your shares many moons ago. Pick your dummy up please Mr Munro
    Rusty
    12/06/2013 2:49:56 PM

    Deregul8, your letter doesn't make sense - it reads as though you want growers to take advantage of what ADM can supposedly offer but at the same time keep their shares to block the sale.
    Deregul8
    12/06/2013 3:01:58 PM

    No confusion in my mind. I'd be selling now and moving to the coast. A debt bomb yet to unwind in the southern grainbelts.
    ecnerwal
    12/06/2013 3:09:45 PM

    Temptation is the art of the devil but not confined to only the devil. Corporations do it too when they are after your soul.
    mark2
    12/06/2013 4:33:57 PM

    I thought you said previously that you had 96% equity deregul8??? You should be positioning yourself for the great improvements proffered by Mr Pinner and his gang of thieves
    sam
    12/06/2013 5:11:31 PM

    How could passing virtual monopoly grain export control, to one foreign owned, international, grain trading and proccessing conglomerate, be in the Australian public interest, let alone in the interests of thousands of Australian owned, small business's (called farmers), whose livelihoods are dependent on competition for their grain handling and grain marketing tasks? After deregulating their cooperative marketing system against growers democratic wishes, why would the same legislators, effectively empower such an entity as ADM, to have that monopoly power? It should be split 2 or 3 ways.
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