By Karl Plume
CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. agricultural commodities trader Archer Daniels Midland Co <ADM.N> has sold its 19.9 percent stake in GrainCorp Ltd <GNC.AX> to underwriters UBS just three years after a failed bid to wholly acquire the Australian grain handler, ADM said on Thursday.
The sale to the Swiss bank was valued at A$387 million ($286.92 million), or A$8.53 a share, ADM said.
ADM's A$2.8 billion bid to buy Australia's largest listed grain handler was blocked by government regulators in 2013 near the peak of a grain market boom.
Commodities prices have since tumbled and ADM and rival agribusinesses are focusing increasingly on higher-margin businesses such as natural food ingredients and specialty commodities to boost slumping returns.
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"This transaction will allow us to further reduce our invested capital, and it will provide cash that we can redeploy to higher-return investments," ADM Chief Executive Officer Juan Luciano said in a statement.
ADM had been shopping its GrainCorp stake this year, but was unable to find a buyer for the entire stake and canceled the sale process in July 2016, sources said.
ADM shares were up about 2.5 percent on Thursday at $44.31, up nearly 21 percent since the beginning of 2016. GrainCorp shares drifted lower to A$8.71 in early trading on the Australian Stock Exchange on Friday, up less than 1 percent on the year.
(Editing by Dan Grebler and Chris Reese)