December 18, 2008


AWB comfortable with "balance sheet"



Australian agribusiness AWB Ltd. remains comfortable with its balance sheet but has "considerable potential" to improve capital efficiency to fund growth, managing director Gordon Davis said Thursday (December 18).


AWB's priority is to maximize returns from capital and the company is reviewing the potential "levers" available to ensure it is optimizing the way it allocates capital, he said in a statement.


He was commenting after talks between ABB Grain Ltd. and AWB over a possible merger were abandoned on Wednesday with the parties unable to agree on commercial terms.


AWB is well positioned to participate in any industry consolidation where it makes sense for AWB shareholders, particularly after constitutional reform and the removal from July 1 of statutory obligations regarding the operations of a bulk wheat export monopoly, he said.


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