AWB eyes global commodity presence
Australian grain trader AWB is in talks with an international company to spin off its Geneva division and take a joint-venture partner in its local commodities business, as it looks to transform itself by gaining footing in the global commodities game.
Market sources say offshore giants Louis Dreyfus or Noble Group could be the joint-venture partner for AWB, which on Wedenesday announced a AUS$459 million capital raising to pay down debt.
Chief executive Gordon Davis in the The Australian Financial Review said AWB did not bring enough to the table in its current form as a smaller Australian entity other than to be a niche player after the deregulation of the bulk wheat export market.
He said the group had been looking at various options since merger talks with ABB Grain fell over last December.
Wilson HTM analyst James Ferrier said this was the way grain marketing was moving post-deregulation. "This is recognition that you need scale, a big balance sheet and a global reach," he said.
Source: The Land
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