ARCHER Daniels Midland (ADM) may not be as keen as expected to offload GrainCorp's majority stake in Australia's big flour milling and baking business Allied Mills.
If its acquisition of GrainCorp goes ahead as planned, global food ingredients processor ADM will own a 60 per cent stake in Allied, which has eight flour mills and doughnut, bread and batter making facilities across Australia.
ADM was expected by some to be set to sell out of Allied because the other joint venture owner is rival US-based global agribusiness giant, Cargill.
Cargill would have first option on acquiring the entire milling business if GrainCorp's share was for sale.
However, ADM grains boss Ian Pinner noted this week that his company liked all the businesses GrainCorp was involved in.
He said he could not comment at this stage on what the company might decide after it had bedded down the drawn-out acquisition process.
He observed that Allied' milling businesses would not be an unusual fit given ADM had milling interests around the world and liked being in the milling business.
However, ADM is talking about quitting its global cocoa operations.
Estimated to be worth about $2 billion and one of the world's largest cocoa businesses ADM last week confirmed it was in discussions with an unidentified party about a potential sale, which would provide a significant funding injection to cover GrainCorp's $3.4b total acquisition cost.
Mr Pinner said he was not part of ADM's treasury group and could not predict how funds from any big sale would be used, but ADM already had sufficient cash to cover its GrainCorp ambitions.
The agribusiness giant is widely believed to be fine tuning its food sector focus on expanding its grains sector footprint, particularly into the Chinese market.
ADM and Cargill make up half the powerful so-called "ABCD" multi-national companies which dominate much of the global trade in agricultural products - the other two being Bunge and Louis Dreyfus.