China to decide on Glencore’s acquisition of Canada’s Viterra next month

Canadian grain handler Viterra Inc (TSE:VT) said the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) will continue into September with the review of its planned CAD6.1bn (USD6.2bn/EUR4.9bn) combination with Swiss commodities trader Glencore International Plc (LON:GLEN).

The clearance by the MOFCOM is the sole remaining regulatory nod needed to wrap up Glencore’s acquisition of Viterra, the Canadian firm said. Glencore is cooperating with the Chinese ministry to secure its approval as soon as possible.

The buyer initially expected to complete the deal in Viterra’s fiscal third quarter, it has said.

Glencore agreed on 20 March to buy Viterra at CAD16.25 a share, saying it would use existing cash and debt to finance the deal which would serve its goal of becoming a top global player in grain and oilseeds markets.

The deal provides Glencore with a strategic platform for growth in Canada, while boosting its operations in Australia and allowing it opportunities to expand in fast-developing global markets, the buyer has said.

In an earlier comment, Chris Mahoney, director of Glencore’s Agricultural Products division, said the takeover reflected the Swiss group’s belief in the potential of the Canadian and Australian grain markets and the benefits for farmers and customers in the two countries, as well as others.

Viterra has operations in Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand and China, as well as offices in Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Switzerland, Italy, Ukraine, Germany, Spain and India.