Canadian Manufacturing

$6.1 billion Viterra acquisition gets green light

Australia's competition regulator has approved the $6.1 billion takeover bid by Glencore PLC.

CALGARY—Australia’s competition regulator has approved the $6.1 billion takeover bid of Calgary-based Viterra by Swiss commodities giant Glencore PLC.

Shareholders at the Canadian agribusiness voted overwhelmingly in favour of the deal in May, and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice have already approved the takeover.

The federal Competition Bureau had also indicated earlier that it doesn’t plan to intervene.

Viterra expects the transaction to close by the end of July, but adds that could change.

It says the closing is still subject to clearances under the Investment Canada Act and the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board.

Viterra was formed several years ago after Saskatchewan Wheat Pool bought Agricore United. The company has since expanded beyond Canada.

Glencore approached Viterra in March as it was preparing to benefit from the end of the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly on the marketing of wheat and barley in Western Canada.

The Glencore deal includes a side agreement that will see a large chunk of Viterra’s business sold to two other Canadian companies.

Calgary-based Agrium Inc. will pay $1.8 billion for the majority of Viterra’s retail business.

Privately-held Richardson International of Winnipeg will acquire a 23 per cent share of Viterra’s grain handling assets in Canada, plus other North American assets.

Glencore has also agreed to keep Viterra’s North American head office in Regina.

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