Wednesday, February 18, 2009

ADM CFO: Economic Downturn May Create Acquisition Opportunity (ADM)

Since "Bill Gates Slashing Stake in Pacific Ethanol (PEIX)" in June 2008 I don't think we've had a dozen posts on ethanol. That may change, I'm always interested in front-running a corporate buyer.
Now, if I could only figure out who the acquiree will be.
From Dow Jones via CNN Money:
Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) may take advantage of the economic downturn to buy heavily discounted assets, Chief Financial Officer Steve Mills said Tuesday.

Potential deals could bring ADM into new business areas, like ocean-shipping.

"We believe that the current economic downturn may provide us with opportunities to grow our global footprint in an economic way," he said, addressing the annual conference of the Consumer Analyst Group of New York, in Boca Raton, Fla.

ADM, a large user of ocean freight, has opted not to own its own fleet of ocean-faring ships in the past. The company is analyzing the possible purchase of a small fleet, Mills said.

ADM also has the opportunity to buy assets in its established businesses at a fraction of their full value, Mills said. He noted that many U.S. corn-based ethanol plants are currently distressed, but said ADM sees long-term value in producing the fuel....MORE

By the way, that Gates sale shows the wisdom of facing reality at some point or another. The stock was down at least 50% from their purchase price at the time the sale was announced. In the subsequent nine months it dropped another 80%.