ADM wins Korean approval for GrainCorp deal, needs China


Archer Daniels Midland Co said on Wednesday that South Korea had cleared the grain trader's takeover of GrainCorp Ltd , leaving China and Australia as the last two countries that need to approve the deal.

The Korea Fair Trade Commission became the seventh government agency to approve the nearly A$3.0 billion ($3.1 billion) acquisition, according to ADM.

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U.S.-based ADM, one of the world's largest agricultural trading houses, is among the four large players known as the "ABCD" companies that dominate the flow of farm goods around the world. The others are Bunge , Cargill Inc and Louis Dreyfus Corp .

ADM struck a deal in April to buy Australian grain handler GrainCorp, the latest move in the rapid consolidation of the global grain sector amid intense competition to feed fast-developing countries like China.

The takeover is on track to close by the end of the year, ADM Chief Executive Officer Patricia Woertz said on a conference call on Tuesday after the company issued quarterly earnings.

In a sign of China's growing scrutiny of global M&A deals, GrainCorp and ADM tailored their agreement to include an extra payment for shareholders from October to reflect an expected delay in approval from China's Ministry of Commerce.

GrainCorp has an edible oils facility in China.

(Reporting by Tom Polansek; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)