ADM now owns 15 pct of Australia's GrainCorp

NEW YORK -- Agribusiness conglomerate Archer Daniels Midland, seeking to acquire Graincorp, said Friday that it now owns nearly 15 percent of the Australian grain handler.

Archer Daniels Midland Co. purchased a 10 percent stake in GrainCorp Ltd. Thursday night, adding to its existing 4.9 percent holding.

The Decatur, Ill., company spent $11.75 Australian dollars ($12.20) for each share.

ADM wants to invest in overseas suppliers, CEO Patricia Woertz said. The company has approached GrainCorp about a deal, and wants its board to recommend that the Australian company sell itself to ADM.

Australia is a major exporter of many commodities, from minerals such as iron ore to agricultural goods like wheat.

ADM shares dipped 13 cents to $28.94 in morning trading.