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ADM Says Time Not Right to Buy Rival Bunge

Company announces it has acquired rest of British grain merchant, Gleadell

2009 ADM Media Tour 251

U.S. agribusiness group Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) said on Thursday it had agreed to buy the remaining 50% stake in British grain merchant Gleadell it does not already own from French co-operative InVivo.

Reuters reports Gleadell, based in Gainsborough in eastern England, is one of Britain’s largest traders of grains, oilseeds and pulses.

ADM’s CEO and Chairman Juan Luciano said in a rare interview with Reuters published on Wednesday that it had looked at buying rivals including Bunge Ltd. but decided the time was not right for “monster” acquisitions.

In the interview, he explained that in addition to Bunge, ADM has analyzed other companies in the past including Cargill Inc. and Louis Dreyfus Co., the other members of the so-called ABCD group of grain traders.

“When credit becomes tighter, we might flex our balance sheet a little bit more, when there’s a little bit less competition,” he said.

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