In what is the first major transaction the firm had done for the client, the client is offering $41 a shae, valuing the grower-owned company at about $127 million.
The bid is dependent on shareholders voting to change the constitution to allow one shareholder to own more than a fifth of the business.
The formal takeover offer has been made by COFCO's wholly owned subsidiary, Top Glory (Australia) Pty Limited.
Tully Sugar mills sugar cane to produce quality raw sugar and molasses. All raw sugar produced at the mill is exported.
COFCO, a Fortune 500 company, is China's largest diversified products and services supplier in the agribusiness and food industry, importing and exporting a range of products.
COFCO is seeking to obtain up to 100 per cent ownership of Tully Sugar shares. COFCO's current cash offer is A$41 per share, with its acquisition subject to a number of conditions, including Australian FIRB approval and a 50.1 per cent minimum acceptance condition.
Minter Ellison partner Marcus Best is leading the deal with partner Bruce Cowley and senior associate David Schiavello.
"Minter Ellison is pleased to be assisting COFCO with this significant transaction for it in Australia. We understand COFCO provides an important link in the trade of sugar and grain between Australia and China and this deal would represent a further milestone in those links," Best said.