AWB and ABB join forces
Australian grain giants AWB Ltd and ABB have confirmed that they will merge.
By teaming up, the two together will be Australia's largest wheat and barley exporter
with an estimated value of $2 billion or more.
The two companies are widely regarded as a good fit in the newly deregulated
wheat export market, and their chiefs, Gordon Davis (AWB) and Michael Iwaniw
(ABB), have both said further industry consolidation is inevitable.
the proposal, confirmed to the Australian Stock Exchange last Friday, has
aroused concerns among grain growers about potential for reduced grain handling
and marketing competition, particularly in South Australia where ABB has most of
its bulk handling network.
It is also set to put pressure on the big
east coast grain handler, GrainCorp, to find a merger partner, or an acquisition
strategy, to enable it to compete on a similar scale.
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