ADM Finally Buying GrainCorp

At long last, it looks like Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE: ADM  ) is going to get its wish.

Late last year, ADM offered to buy Australian grain processor GrainCorp. for 12.20 Australian Dollars per share -- worth $12.73 per share at the time. About a week later, GrainCorp's board rejected the offer, saying it "materially undervalue[d] GrainCorp." Fast forward four months, however, and GrainCorp has had a change of heart.

According to a press release from ADM out yesterday, ADM has received assurances from GrainCorp's board that, absent a better offer, its most recent bid of 12.20 Aussie Dollars will, in fact, be sufficient. Owing to exchange rate fluctuations, that bid's now worth only $12.50 per share, but it still works out to a transaction value of $3.5 billion (including the $11.53-per-share that ADM paid to acquire its initial 19.8% stake in the company).

The major change between then and now is that instead of permitting GrainCorp to pay its shareholders $0.365 per share in dividends prior to taking over the company, GrainCorp will be paying out $1.03. GrainCorp may pay out further dividends of about $0.035 per month of delay if, for some reason, the merger does not close as quickly as it's expected to.

So, in sum, while ADM has not been forced to pay more for GrainCorp, it has, at least, agreed to accept less value for its money, as GrainCorp offloads some cash on its shareholders ahead of the merger. 


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