GrainCorp chief exec Alison Watkins will quit, after the Treasurer blocked a foreign takeover of the nation’s largest grain handler.
As it was widely expected the deal would be approved, it is not surprising she has advised the board she intends to step down, the company said in a statement.
“It is with great regret that the Board has accepted Alison’s resignation, however we respect her decision to move on, particularly when a change of control in GrainCorp was broadly expected to occur over the coming weeks,” Chairman Don Taylor said.
“The expectation in the investment community was that ADM’s offer for GrainCorp would be approved and effected in the near term.
“In that context, it is not surprising that an executive of Alison’s calibre has attracted interest and had new opportunities presented to her. As much as we regret her decision, we wish her every success in the next stage of her career.”
Watkins said in the statement that she had always intended to leave once the deal with Archer Daniel Midlands was completed.
“Given last week’s unexpected developments, I feel it is in the best interests of GrainCorp, our people and customers that I move on now and allow the Board to find new leadership to take the business forward into its new phase.”
Meanwhile, the US State Department has released a statement saying it is “disappointed” by Joe Hockey’s decision to veto the $3.4 billion deal, which he claims was not in the national interest.
Buying GrainCorp, the nation’s largest grain handler, would have given ADM a monopoly position.