News / Asia

Chinese Food Giant Eyes Australian Sugar Maker in Billion-Dollar Offer

Chinese Food Giant Eyes Australian Sugar Maker in Billion-Dollar Offer
Chinese Food Giant Eyes Australian Sugar Maker in Billion-Dollar Offer

Multimedia

Audio

A Chinese food giant has offered $1.4 billion to buy one of Australia's biggest sugar companies.  The huge bid could reignite concerns about Chinese investment in Australia. 

Shanghai's biggest food company, Bright Food Group, is trying to buy the sugar business of CSR, one of Australia's oldest firms.

Bright Food has some powerful and wealthy backers.  Its majority shareholder is the Shanghai City government, which would fund any takeover of the Australian company.

Industry experts say that such an acquisition would make sound economic sense, as sugar prices have more doubled in the past year.

CSR has rejected the Chinese offer and it is unclear if Bright Food will return with a sweeter deal to tempt the Australians.

Some analysts believe the move could exacerbate tensions about Chinese investment in Australian firms, amid concerns about foreigners controlling vital and lucrative assets.

China is the third biggest investor in Australia and has recently taken control of coal mines in New South Wales and Queensland.  Chinese enterprises also have substantial stakes in minerals heavyweights Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals.

Mark Causer, a senior investment adviser at Australia's Perspective Group, says that Canberra will always look after national interests first.

"I still think that the Australian government will protect, at all costs, Australian interests," Causer said.  "But they will also look at the opportunities that external capital, in this case from China, what it will offer to Australian companies, the Australian public and the Australian shareholders."

In the past year several proposed investments by Chinese companies in Australia have been rejected by the country's Investment Review Board, which oversees foreign acquisitions.  This has led to complaints from China that the system is unfair and not transparent.

Late in 2009, the board publicly rebutted those criticisms, stressing that in the previous 18 months it had approved Chinese investments in Australia worth around $30 billion.

During the last year, there were concerns that difficult bilateral diplomatic ties would harm business arrangements between Beijing and Canberra.

Relations soured when Stern Hu, a senior Australian mining executive, was arrested by Chinese officials in July on suspicion of stealing classified commercial information.   Tensions worsened when an exiled Uighur leader accused by Beijing of terrorism was allowed to visit Australia.

Despite these political problems, the power of money has kept China and Australia on sound commercial terms. 

Trade between these Asia-Pacific partners is now worth $60 billion a year, much of it in favor of Australian mining companies.
 

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid