ELDERS has already received "robust interest" in the sale of its rural services business.
Chief executive Malcolm Jackman said both local and overseas buyers were keen on the company's best-performing division.
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Mr Jackman wanted a positive message to counter a shareholder revolt which has savaged his company.
Elders this week appointed corporate adviser Greenhill and Co to help with the sale.
Mr Jackman said the preliminary response to the sale "reinforced the board's view that a global sale process could accelerate return of the value to stakeholders".
That failed to happen in the past week as investors deserted the company. Its shares plunged to a record low of 13.5c during frantic trade.
Elders has now experienced the biggest fall of any listed public company on the All Ordinaries in the past five years.
Five years ago the company had a market value of more than $2 billion. Today its market capitalisation is just over $125 million.
Shares were 26c when Elders announced it would sell its rural services division but fell to 13.5c during the week.
"With its 173-year history, the Elders brand is synonymous with Australian agriculture and, as we expected, there is strong interest in the business from a broad range of sources so that is a good first step in the sale process," Mr Jackman said.
Ruralco Holdings still wants to merge with Elders, but there is a limit to its patience, according to Ruralco managing director John Maher.
Mr Maher said his company was disappointed with Elders' latest move, not believing a sale "in these circumstances" would create any shareholder value.
Mr Maher said his company's position had been "validated" by the response of investors in the past week.
Mr Maher said his company was dismayed by suggestions from Elders the sale process could take up to nine months.
"We have to consider whether we want to be distracted from our core business for that long a period," Mr Maher said.
It was revealed last month Elders had rebuffed an approach from Ruralco for a merger.
Ruralco has advised that its full-year net profit was likely to slump by up to 10 per cent due to lower revenue from its wool and livestock businesses.
Elders is due to release it annual statement on November 19.