ADM sells stake in GrainCorp; completes revamp of Ukraine oilseed plant

ADM has doubled the production lines for sunflower seed preparation at its Chornomorsk crush facility in the Ukraine. Pic: ©iStock/Dianazh

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) has sold its stake in GrainCorp Limited soon after separately reopening  its oilseed processing facility in Chornomorsk in the Ukraine.

ADM sold its 19.9% ownership for A$387m (US$288m) to Swiss underwriters UBS, which has since traded the shares on to several institutional investors and pension funds.

Failed takeover bid

In 2013, around the peak of the grain market boom, ADM proposed an A$2.8bn (US$2.08bn) takeover of Australia’s largest listed grain handler, but this was blocked by government regulators.

Commodity prices have since tumbled and ADM has turned its attention on its natural food ingredients business to boost slumping returns.

According to ADM CEO Juan Luciano, the company will redeploy the capital towards its higher-return investments.

Tailoring to Ukraine demand

Earlier last week, ADM reopened its Ukraine facility after completing a major expansion project that doubled the plant’s existing production lines in sunflower seed preparation.

Further enhancements included replacing the extraction plant and installing another biomass boiler.

The addition of a switch capacity to crush rapeseed also allows the plant to respond to shifts in the marketplace.

Anton Povkhan, ADM general manager of EU Softseed Crush, said the changes have placed the company in a better position to meet the growing demands in the region.

Apart from the Chornomorsk crush facility, ADM has a substantial footprint in the Ukraine, including offices, six inland grain elevators and a grain terminal at the port of Odessa.

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