Hockey reignites Coalition division over Graincorp takeover

A DECISION on the controversial Graincorp takeover will be taken by mid-December, Treasurer Joe Hockey has revealed.

Despite months of vocal opposition to the takeover within the Coalition's own ranks, Mr Hockey has promised to "carefully consider" the proposal.

To that end, the Treasurer on Friday extended the consideration period to December 17, in order to provide more certainty to those involved.

The proposal involves the buyout of Australia's largest grain handler, and veritable control of the east coast distribution systems, by United States oilseeds giant Archer Daniels Midland.

But it has caused a political fight in Canberra, with key members of The Nationals, including Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, voicing their opposition to the takeover.

Mr Hockey's decision also comes after heated Senate hearings earlier this year, where Liberal heavyweight Senator Bill Heffernan questioned ADM executives on the company's plans and background.

The Senate hearings dredged up the company's central role in an international foreign bribery scandal several years ago, for which the company recently set aside $25 million to pay costs.

A final decision will need the approval of the Foreign Investment Review Board before Mr Hockey makes the final decision.



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