Viterra says Australian competition regulator approves $6.1 bln takeover


Grain handling firm Viterra (TSE:VT) said Thursday Australian regulators won’t hinder the $6.1 billion takeover by Swiss-based Glencore International (LON:GLEN).

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which promotes fair trade for businesses and consumers, won’t intervene or prevent the deal – Viterra said in a statement.

Viterra agreed to be bought by Glencore, a global commodities trader, for $16.25 per share, which is a premium of 48 percent to Viterra’s closing price on March 8.

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

Regina, Saskatchewan-based Viterra expects the deal to close by July, but added it is not possible yet to determine when the effective date will occur.

It said the transaction is still subject to approvals and clearances by the Investment Canada Act and the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board.

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

Calgary-based Agrium (TSE:AGU) and privately-held Richardson International, based in Winnipeg, will buy Viterra's Canadian assets for $2.6 billion in cash.

Viterra, formed by the merger of the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool and Agricore United, is a grain handler, marketer and food processor with operations across Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and China.

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