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ADM gets approval for $396 million acquisition of Minnesota Corn Processors

(Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2002 -- CropChoice news) --

The Associated Press, Sept. 9, 2002 : Archer Daniels Midland Co. won federal approval Friday to proceed with its $396 million acquisition of Minnesota Corn Processors once a joint venture involving a competitor is dissolved.

The agribusiness giant intends to comply with the condition imposed by the U.S. Department of Justice, ADM spokesman Larry Cunningham said.

That clears the way for the deal to go ahead. The farmer-owners of Minnesota Corn Processors approved the sale in vote results announced a day earlier.

The Justice Department's antitrust division moved formally Friday to block the proposed transaction, filing a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington. But it also filed a proposed consent decree approving the sale if MCP's joint venture with Corn Products International Inc. is dissolved by Dec. 31.

The joint venture is one of four firms competing with ADM to sell corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup in the United States and Canada.

Assistant Attorney General Charles James said the dissolution of the joint venture "will ensure that purchasers of corn syrup and high fructose corn syrup continue to receive the benefits of competition: lower prices.''

Decatur-based ADM agreed in July to pay $2.90 a share for Marshall, Minn.-based MCP stock. ADM already owned a 30 percent interest in MCP and agreed to assume debts of $240 million.

ADM shares fell 5 cents to $12.12 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange.