AWB Ltd close $1.07 million takeover

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Canadian fertilizer maker Agrium Inc has moved closer to securing a $1.07 billion takeover of Australia's AWB Ltd after the Australian wheat exporter formally backed the offer.

AWB dropped a previous recommendation to support a lower bid by domestic rival GrainCorp, instead backing Agrium offer.

Agrium owns the largest retail network in North America, wants control of AWB's retail division Landmark Rural Services.

Agrium chief executive Mike Wilson, said earlier this month that he would consider divesting AWB's international commodity management business if his takeover plan succeeded.

Speculation is that other companies will begin to make contact with Agrium in order to buy out some of AWB's operations, including its Australian commodities business which the Canadian firm could seek to sell off once the takeover is finalized.

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