Australia's competition regulator on Thursday said it would not oppose the more than Aus$3 billion (US$2.8 billion) takeover of Australian agribusiness GrainCorp by US suitor Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman Rod Sims said the decision was made after consultation with grain growers, industry bodies and competitors.
"The ACCC concluded that the proposed acquisition would be unlikely to substantially lessen competition as the merged entity would continue to face competition from a number of sources," he said in a statement.
GrainCorp services about 30,000 grain producers in the eastern states of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
It has one of the largest grain storage, handling and logistics networks in the nation with a combined storage capacity of more than 21 million tonnes at 280 sites. Its vast network is aligned with rail and road links for transporting grain to market.
Analysts say Illinois-headquartered ADM, one of the world's biggest food companies producing goods from cottonseed and peanuts to ethanol and animal feed, is interested in GrainCorp to gain a foothold in Asia.
GrainCorp knocked back a Aus$2.68 billion, Aus$11.75-per-share, offer in October from ADM and again advised against an improved Aus$12.20-per-share bid in December.
But a new cash offer in April of Aus$12.20 adding a Aus$1 special dividend to each share provided value, chairman Don Taylor said.
Australia's Foreign Investment Review Board still has to approve the deal.