SYDNEY The consortium interested in acquiring and immediately listing Australia's largest grain exporter Cooperative Bulk Handling Ltd (CBH) has withdrawn its offer, GrainCorp Ltd (GNC.AX) - one of the financial backers of the deal - said on Monday.
CBH in March rejected the offer from the consortium, known as Australian Grains Champion (AGC), in a deal valued by analysts at up to A$3 billion ($2.26 billion) after concluding it was not in the best interests of its 4,200 farmer members.
When rejecting the offer, CBH said it would conduct a review of its structure, offering shareholders a choice of whether to change its cooperative structure.
AGC, meanwhile, continued to lobby CBH's farmer shareholders in an attempt to push the offer to a shareholder vote.
However, CBH's offer to review its existing structure eroded support for AGC's proposal, leading them to withdraw their offer.
"While we believe the proposal designed by AGC was unique and attractive, CBH is conducting its own review of its structure and governance, which will take some time to finalize," said Mark Palmquist, managing director and chief executive officer at GrainCorp.
"In this light, it is appropriate to afford [Western Australian] growers time and space to address these other important priorities for their business."
($1 = 1.3270 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Colin Packham; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)