SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA — Several media outlets reported on Nov. 14 that Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott will veto a multi-billion dollar takeover of GrainCorp by U.S.-based Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM).
Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey, who is to decide on the deal by Dec. 17, told the media outlets that the decision is his alone.
The West Australian newspaper said Abbott might block the purchase or add such onerous conditions that the deal wouldn’t be viable.
Some rural Liberals and members of the Nationals, including Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, have effectively urged Hockey to reject the sale. The Australian Senate has agreed to a short inquiry into the sale.
Sen. Bill Heffernan told media that he would put "difficult questions" to GrainCorp, ADM and the competition watchdog ACCC.
The deal is worth A$3.4 billion ($3.2billion) including debt. Under the agreed terms, ADM is paying A$12.20 a share for GrainCorp, allowing for the target to also distribute shareholders a A$1.00 per share dividend out of current and retained earnings before the deal close, ADM has said.
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