Stakes rise as bidders vie for Tully Sugar

THE bidding war for shares in Queensland’s Tully Sugar is intensifying with Chinese government-backed COFCO now valuing the company at $133 million, up from $126.7 million a week ago.

Shareholders agreed last Wednesday to lift a 20 per cent ownership cap, opening the way for a full takeover. COFCO is offering $43 per share paid within seven days and has dropped other acceptance conditions. It is also expecting a decision from the Foreign Investment Review Board in coming days, which would allow it to settle 20 per cent of shares it has already contracted to buy and purchase more.

Last week international conglomerate Bunge increased its bidding price from $41 a share to $42 a share.

A third bidder, Mackay Sugar, is still offering $41 a share but says that it will then give shareholders a part in a larger grower-owned entity.

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