GrainCorp CEO resigns upon rejection of $2 billion takeover bid

After the Australian government blocked a $2.2 billion takeover bid by Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (ADM), GrainCorp's CEO Alison Watkins resigned from her post at the Sydney, Australia-based grain handling company.

"I have carefully weighed my options over the past two days," Watkins said Monday in a statement. "I had planned to leave the company at the time control passed over to ADM. Given last week’s unexpected developments, I feel it is in the best interests of GrainCorp, our people and customers that I move on now and allow the Board to find new leadership to take the business forward into its new phase."

Treasurer Joe Hockey blocked the ADM deal last week, citing concerns that the Illinois-based company would have too much influence in the country, where GrainCorp is the only major publicly traided grain company left. The acquisition would have offshored most of Australia's wheat shipments and grain-export infrastructure. ADM had agreed to buy the company in April.

According to multiple media reports, Watkins will join Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd. in March as group managing director. GrainCorp mentioned her pursuit of a new opportunity within the corporate sector, but didn't elaborate.

The company is currently seeking a replacement. In the interim, chairman Don Taylor will serve as temporary executive chairman.