ADM Muscles in on
by Andrew Marshall
United States grain giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) has expanded a joint venture relationship with Japanese agricultural commodities group Marubeni Corporation to improve its access to Asian grain markets.
The two companies have merged their US-based Kalama Export Company with the Columbia Grain export terminal in Portland, Oregon, previously a subsidiary of Marubeni, bolstering their export capacity from the US Pacific Northwest.
The port is a key part of the export gateway for US agricultural goods to Asia.
The revamped Kalama joint venture will be re-named Pacificor.
ADM, a 19.9 per cent shareholder in Australia's GrainCorp, has had the partnership with Marubeni since the Japanese company bought the US grain business Gavilon last year, giving it a 45pc share of the Washington State based Kalama (which is also 45pc owned by ADM).
"This action represents another important step in our ongoing efforts to build ADM's agricultural services value chain from origination to destination," said ADM senior vice president Joe Taets.
Marubeni's food material division managing executive officer, Satoshi Wakabayashi, said common ownership of the facilities would accelerate both parties' efforts to improve operational efficiency and effectiveness, ultimately providing better service to customers worldwide.
In unrelated past grain takeover moves both Gavilon and GrainCorp were unsuccessful bidders for Australia's national wheat exporter AWB before it was eventually acquired by Cargill.
The latest ADM move comes as it completes its largest acquisition to date, last week closing a $3b-plus deal to buy European food and beverage industry natural ingredients supplier, Wild Flavours.
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