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Archer-Daniels-Midland to Sell 23% Stake in Gruma to Chico Pardo

Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., the corn processor offering A$2.7 billion ($2.8 billion) for Australia’s GrainCorp Ltd., reached a preliminary agreement with Mexican businessman Fernando Chico Pardo to sell its 23 percent stake in Gruma SAB.

“This preliminary agreement is non-binding and is subject to negotiation of a definitive agreement, approval by ADM’s and Gruma’s boards of directors,” Jackie Anderson, ADM spokeswoman, said today in an e-mail. The transaction also needs certain regulatory and other approvals, she said.

ADM’s stake in Gruma is worth about $397 million, said a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be named because the talks are private.

In addition to its Gruma share holdings, ADM has minority ownership in other joint ventures with the San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico-based company, according to the e-mailed statement. ADM has 131 million shares of Gruma, the world’s largest producer of corn and wheat tortillas, according data compiled by Bloomberg.

If the deal is completed, Chico Pardo will become Gruma’s second-largest stakeholder, according to data. Chico Pardo is the chairman of Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste SAB, an operator of airports in southern Mexico.

Bank of America Corp. is acting as financial adviser to ADM, Anderson wrote in the e-mail.

ADM’s preliminary agreement with Chico Pardo to sell its investment in Gruma was earlier reported by the Financial Times.

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