The Wheat Boom Is Making Australian Agribusiness A Tempting Target  

Posted by Big Gav in , , ,

The SMH has a report on foreign interest in Australian agricultural companies as the wheat price soars - Big wheat bickies to be made in our backyard.

That other resources boom, the one that is sustainable, appears to have caught most Australians by surprise, if indeed they know about it at all.

We've all been too busy backslapping each other and toasting our good fortune about the enormous quarry in the backyard to notice that a looming global food shortage has placed the nation on international investment radar screens and the world is ready to pounce.

The signs have been there for more than a year.

Canadian group Viterra last year took control of grains group ABB, the old Australian Barley Board. Then late last year China's Bright Foods tried to lure CSR's sugar operations to its fold, a bid that failed when a Singaporean group won control a few months back.

Before that, the British private equity group Terra Firma bought the Packer family's extensive cattle operations in the Top End, while the IIFCO group in Dubai took a 20 per cent stake in Australian Agricultural Co when Elders decided to sell down.

Yesterday, the trend took a new and far more serious twist. AWB, once considered the country's peak body when it came to agribusiness and Australia's place in the global trade arena, came under attack from yet another Canadian rural firm, Agrium Inc.

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