AUW head approves potential sale of GrainCorp
In an AAP News article, Australian Workers Union head Paul Howes had given his seal of approval for Archer Daniels Midland's offer to acquire Australia's largest agribusiness GrainCorp.
GrainCorp is a listed company whose operations entail the storage of commodities, primarily grain. Aside from storing grain, the company also provides marketing and logistics services for grain and other related commodities.
The US giant ADM had extended an offer to buy out GrainCorp for USD3.4 billion. The offer resulted to deepening divisions to all factions involved, especially in the Australian government. Australian Finance Minister Joe Hockey is expected to deliberate about the planned acquisition and will hand out his ruling by December 17 of this year.
Howes said, "The long-term gains for regional employment, for agribusiness, for the agricultural sector as a whole is worth that short-term pain. I support it personally, and our union will even though there will be some short-term pain for our members. We need to recognize that the current structural difficulties that are experienced in our agricultural sector will not be changed only by domestic players being involved, and we need that injection of foreign capital." Howes also indicated that the economic reasons overshadowed opinion of a large group of AUW members employed at GrainCorp, whom he said were not happy about the potential sale of the company.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott had distanced himself from the upcoming ruling, and said that the Australian cabinet has no jurisdiction on the outcome of the anticipated ruling.
Abbott also added that the political coalition in the Australian government was happy to obtain foreign investment, but said foreign investment should be the right investment.
"It does have to accord with our overall national interests and there is no better way of ensuring that that's the case, than the Foreign Investment Review Board process, with the final decision to be made by the treasurer," Abbott said.