In a surprising move, Treasurer Hockey has this morning ruled against the proposed acquisition by US company Archer Daniel Midland (“ADM”) of GrainCorp Limited (“GrainCorp”).
- the Treasurer may consider an application is contrary to the national interest where the FIRB does not provide a consensus in its recommendation about a proposal;
- the impact of a foreign investment proposal being approved on ‘public support’ for the foreign investment regime will be a key consideration in determining whether an application is contrary to the national interest in future;
- broader public and stakeholder concerns will continue to be a crucial factor for the Treasurer in assessing whether an application is contrary to the national interest;
- investments in the rural sector will be closely scrutinised, consistent with the government’s proposed reduction in notification thresholds under the FATA; and
- the Treasurer is prepared to reject proposals that he deems contrary to the national interest, based on the factors described above.