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End in sight for Elders sale

A 49 per cent surge in Elders' shares triggered talk that long-awaited asset sales were finally here.

But Elders is expected to tell the Australian Securities Exchange today it has no idea what was behind Monday's rally, which generated its second speeding ticket in as many weeks from the ASX.

However, Elders is understood to be close to striking a deal and could reach an outcome by the end of the week.

Ruralco, which hands down its interim results today, is said to be in the box seat to buy the rural services division, which is benefiting from timely rains in Western Australia.

Interestingly, sources also told The Australian Financial Review that Woolworths, together with an offshore agricultural player, was part of the sales process in the early stages but has since pulled out.

Meanwhile the delay in selling its automotive division Futuris, combined with deteriorating automotive industry conditions, has prompted concern investors and hybrid holders could end up owning the cars parts company.

About 1.6 per cent of Elders equity changed hands on Monday.


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