AWB, ABB Merger Is Off

A potential merger between AWB Limited and ABB Grain Ltd is over after the companies announced today that discussions on the proposed deal had ended.

The companies confirmed in separate statements issued to the Australian Stock Exchange this afternoon that merger discussions had ceased.

The two had said last month they were looking at forming an agribusiness group with the strength to better compete with commodity trading giants such as Cargill Inc in Australia's deregulated grain industry.

The merger would have created a $2 billion grain conglomerate and was floated just months after discussions believed to have been held between ABB Grain and the CBH Group on a similar proposal.

AWB said the merger discussions had ended because the parties had been unable to agree on appropriate commercial terms.

In a separate statement ABB Grain said it would continue to review potential merger and acquisition opportunities in the global agriculture sector.