Olam ploughs ahead with Asean expansion

Hot off its $1.3 billion acquisition of Archer Daniel Midland's cocoa business, the agribusiness continues to expand its footprint in Southeast Asia.

Olam International, the Singapore-based agribusiness, has come a long way since it was attacked by Muddy Waters in November 2012.

Carson Block, founder of the short-selling research firm, compared Olam to Enron, saying the Singapore group would follow the same path as the failed US energy company.

Block questioned the company’s accounting practices, mounting debt levels and acquisition track record. Olam’s shares dropped 20% in the following month despite the group maintaining Block was wrong.

However, Olam moved to shore up its balance sheet and shareholder base with the help of Temasek, the Singaporean wealth fund, it cut spending by 50% in 2014 compared...

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