Elders is attracting interest from potential buyers amid signs the troubled agribusiness has finally turned a corner after a painful six years for its shareholders.
Elders says it has been approached by a number of potential suitors but none have come forward with a formal takeover offer.
“Elders has received a number of informal, incomplete and confidential approaches from several parties,” the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
“None of those approaches is definite and in a form capable of consideration by the Elders board.”
Macquarie Private Wealth division director Lucinda Chan said the company was an attractive target after selling off troubled assets and refocusing on its agribusiness division.
“The business has been refocused and its starting to turn around so obviously someone’s starting to put the ruler over them,” she told AAP.
“If there are any potential suitors, we’ll find out soon enough who they are.”
The company has been a basket case, from an investor’s point of view, in recent years, with its share price dropping from more than $27 in 2007 to as low as six cents in 2013.
However, its shares have climbed more than 50 per cent in the past month, helped along by an improved half year result and takeover speculation.
The stock closed flat at 22.5 cents on Tuesday.
The company last year rebuffed a takeover offer from rival Ruralco.
Elders posted a $10 million first half loss in May, which was a significant improvement on the $303 million deficit for the same period last year.
At the time managing director Mark Allison said the business was finally improving following the restructure.
“We see this as the start of the `pure play’ agribusiness journey and a sound outcome for the first six months although we do acknowledge there is a little way to go,” he said.
“The second half outlook is positive, subject to seasonal conditions, and we expect ongoing improvement against last year’s results.”