US company ADM puts aside $25m linked to corrupt dealings

THE United States oilseeds giant proposing a $3.4 billion takeover of Graincorp has put aside $25 million in relation to a corruption probe into its past trading practices.

More than a decade ago, ADM, which has proposed buying one of Australia's largest agriculture firms, admitted charges it fixed international lysine and citric acid prices.

The company paid a then-US record $100 million anti-trust fine, but the matter was not put to rest, with an on-going investigation into allegations it breached the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

In a quarterly earnings statement released this morning, ADM revealed it will put aside the $25 million over "potential assessments that may be imposed by these government agencies".

It is understood the statement was the first public estimation of the penalties ADM may face over allegations the company bribed foreign officials.

However, it does not represent any admission of guilt over the allegations, with the statement saying the money was put aside in expectation of a resolution of the matter later this year.

It comes as ADM's proposed takeover of Graincorp faces scrutiny both the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Foreign Investment Review Board.


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