|US frowns on Aussie rejection of GrainCorp bid
The United States, the biggest foreign direct investor in Australia, voiced disappointment that only days after high-level bilateral talks in Washington the Australian government had blocked the sale of GrainCorp to a US agribusiness giant.
“We are disappointed by the government of Australia's decision to reject Archer Daniel Midland's proposed acquisition of GrainCorp,'' State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
But Washington had noted that Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey “has expressed openness'' to allowing Archer Daniel Midland increase its stake in the giant Australian grain handler, she added.
In rejecting ADM's takeover bid, Hockey said Friday that the sector was still moving towards more robust competition and a foreign takeover of the biggest grain handler in eastern Australia could undermine public support for foreign investment in general.
ADM owns more than 280 storage sites and seven of the 10 grain port terminals in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. Around 85 percent of eastern Australia's bulk grain exports are handled through its ports network.
Psaki recalled that “the United States is the largest foreign direct investor in Australia, with 132 billion [dollars] in investment projects to date.''
And she added that Washington looks “forward to working closely with Australia's government to build... stronger trade and investment ties.''—AFP