Hockey rejects Graincorp bid after Coalition civil war

ONLY a day after United States oilseed giant Archer Daniels Midland offered a significant sweetener to the company's proposed takeover of Graincorp, Treasurer Joe Hockey has rejected the idea.

Mr Hockey said on Friday morning he believed the takeover would have been contrary to the national interest.

His decision follows a lengthy internal campaign by Coalition MPs and Senators, as well as grain growers and farm lobby groups outside Canberra.

The rejection comes a day after ADM put more than $200 million extra on the table for grain handling infrastructure, in what appeared to be a last-minute bid to pass muster with Mr Hockey.

But he said after a lengthy process, and with divided opinions on Foreign Investment Review Board, he decided to turn the application down.

Mr Hockey said it was the only FIRB-vetted application he had turned down since taking office, with 131 other foreign investments approved.

"Many industry participants, particularly growers in eastern Australia, have expressed concern that the proposed acquisition could reduce competition and impede growers' ability to access the grain storage, logistics and distribution network," he said.

"Given that the transition towards more robust competition continues and a more competitive network is still emerging, I consider that now is not the right time for a 100 per cent foreign acquisition of this key Australian business."

More to come



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