A leading consultant on the corporatisation of farming co-operatives has hosed down speculation about the future of CBH.
Kidder Williams managing director David Williams said he was not sure the crisis in WA farming would provide the catalyst for CBH's grower members to support a public listing or a takeover by one of the global grain heavyweights stalking the local industry.
"It would need 75 per cent support to get over the line, so I think the chances of somebody making a takeover bid for CBH right now or in the foreseeable future are pretty close to zero," Mr Williams said. "You can never say never, but if it was ever going to be done I think it would need to be on a sort of semi-friendly basis."
Mr Williams said he would know more about the CBH situation after meetings with farm groups and industry players in WA in the next two days.
He is not scheduled to meet CBH, which has repeatedly backed its co-operative structure as the best way to return value to the 4300 grower members.
The Pastoralists and Graziers Association grains council has reopened debate about corporatising CBH to relieve WA rural debt crisis.
The PGA said the move would unlock at least $4 billion in value for growers at a time when hundreds faced walking away from their farms empty-handed.
The last time it was put to a vote in 2000 CBH had 10,000 members with 58 per cent of those who voted favouring corporatisation.CBH made a record profit of $162 million last year.
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