Archer-Daniels-Midland Co (ADM), a leading American global food processing and commodities trading corporation, has sold its 19.9 per cent stake in Australian grain handler and malting company GrainCorp for a sum of A$387 million ($286.92 million) to underwriters UBS. "This transaction will (…) provide cash that we can redeploy to higher-return investments," ADM Chief Executive Officer Juan Luciano said in a statement.
The sale came exactly three years after the unsuccessful attempt to take-over the whole Australian company. The move was blocked by Australian competition authorities, because of fears of too much power of a foreign investor on Australian food supply.
GrainCorp had been the only major publicly traded grain merchant left in Australia after the country deregulated its wheat-export system. GrainCorp diversified into malting in 2009 when it bought a conglomerate of four leading malthouses (Canada Malting, Great Western Malting, Bairds Malt and Barrett Burston Malting) on three continents from private equity group Castle Harlan together with its affiliate CHAMP Private Equity. In October 2011 GrainCorp added four malthouses in Germany under the name of Schill Malz to its portfolio. GrainCorp Malt is today amongst the five largest commercial malting companies worldwide with a combined capacity of 1.3 million metric tons of malt.