SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey on Oct. 4 said he is extending the deadline for his decision on a proposed takeover of GrainCorp until Dec. 17, several Australian news agencies reported on Oct. 7.

Hockey released a statement saying that GrainCorp is “a significant Australian company,” and that “the size of this transaction and the complex nature of the issues involved” meant the deadline should be extended, to “allow sufficient time for the new government to carefully consider all the relevant issues and advice from the Foreign Investment Review Board before making a decision.”

American agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has made a multi-billion-dollar bid for GrainCorp.

A spokesperson for ADM did not comment directly on the Treasurer's decision to extend the deadline, saying in a statement that the company remains “committed to working constructively with Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board,” and that it “continues to believe our offer will deliver compelling benefits to Australian growers and the agricultural economy through access to new markets, investment in agricultural infrastructure, and its focus on serving the needs of Australian growers.”

Grain grower representatives from the NSW, Victorian and Queensland farm lobbies met with advisors to Hockey to state their case against the takeover. The three state farmer organizations are concerned that the deal will ultimately lead to less competition and lower prices for wheat and other grains being paid to growers.