Agrium ready to takeover AWB

Australian Wheat Board managing director Gordon Davis said that Canada's Agrium, which is offering $1.2 billion to acquire the group, is likely to benefit from a stronger business with lower debt and a sustainable earnings profile.

Under the agreement, Agrium is to buy all of AWB's shares and performance rights for $1.50 each in cash.
AWB shareholders will meet in Melbourne on November 16 to consider the scheme of arrangement.
AWB directors have unanimously recommended that shareholders vote in favour of the scheme in the absence of a superior offer.
Davis said that most objectives have been achieved to become a marketable company. "The whole global agricultural story, the Asian protein story, Australia's unique position, makes it no surprise that global companies are interested in Australian assets. "And Agrium, being a very good global operator, has put down a compelling offer."
Shareholders are due to vote on the offer next week. Priced at $1.50 a share, or a 37% premium to the company's closing price the night before the deal was announced, it has been endorsed by the AWB board and an independent expert.

Dick Ziggers

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