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ADM moves to acquire Australia's GrainCorp

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) -- Archer Daniels Midlands Co. said Wednesday it is moving forward with a bid to acquire the remaining 80 percent of Australian grain handler GrainCorp Ltd that it doesn't already own.

ADM said it is offering 12.20 Australian dollars ($12.63) a share in cash for the stake, giving all of GrainCorp a value of AU$3.4 billion.

ADM's two previous offers for GrainCorp were rejected as too low. ADM said GrainCorp's board has agreed to recommend the latest offer to shareholders for approval, unless it receives a better bid.

GrainCorp offers grain storing, collection and transport. Archer Daniels said the deal will expand its agriculture offerings in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

ADM has been looking to invest in overseas suppliers and Australia is a major exporter of commodities, including iron ore and wheat.

It will pay for the acquisition with a combination of operating cash and debt.

ADM shares fell 8 cents to $33.50 in after-hours trading.