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Olam Raises Offer for Queensland Cotton

Singapore agricultural commodities trader Olam International raised its offer for Queensland Cotton Holdings, prompting competing bidder Louis Dreyfus Commodities to sell its stake and end the bidding war for the Australian company.

Olam raised its bid to A$5.90 (US$4.99) a share, up from A$5.65 ($4.78) a share, it said Thursday in a posting on the Singapore Exchange, and French commodities company Louis Dreyfus agreed to sell its 20% stake.

Louis Dreyfus' surrender gives Olam a 28.6% hold in Queensland Cotton.

Olam's new offer is unconditional, and tops the previous bid of A$5.85 ($4.95) by Louis Dreyfus. The offer values Queensland Cotton at A$166 million ($141 million), and will close July 6 unless extended, Olam said.

Olam said any shareholders accepting the offer will be paid cash within five days of acceptance.

Olam shares were up 5.5% on Thursday afternoon.

Queensland Cotton shares slipped 0.3%.