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Glencore To Top The Wheat Market With Viterra Takeover

Swiss-based Glencore International will top the wheat market after its $6.1 billion takeover of Canadian grain handler Viterra Inc.

Viterra shareholders plan to approve the deal in a special shareholder's meeting on May 29 in Calgary.

Glencore has agreed to acquire all of Viterra's outstanding shares at $16.25 per share, Canadian Business reported.

The takeover will give Glencore a leg up on both Canadian and Australian grain markets, since the Canadian government opened up wheat markets to international competition by disbanding the Canadian Wheat Board.

Richardson International Ltd will acquire 23 percent of Viterra's grain-handling assets worth $800 million. Calgary-based Agrium Inc. will buy 90 percent of Viterra's retail outlets for $1.8 billion, according to Business Insider.

"This obviously gives us a larger presence in western Canada, and it creates a presence in certain markets that we hadn't been in before," said Richardson's General Counsel and Vice President of corporate affairs, Jean-Marc Ruest, according to Business Insider. Glencore will retain the majority of Viterra's 63 grain elevators, seven ports and supporting infrastructure in Canada and Australia, Business Insider reports.

"We are looking to expand also in the U.S. If you look further down the road, because of the undoubted need for Canadian production to grow and Canadian exports to grow, we expect to invest further in (grain) handling infrastructure," said Chris Mahoney, Glencore's director of agricultural products, according to Business Insider.

Viterra has locations in Canada, the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, China, and growing offices in Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Switzerland, Italy, Ukraine, Germany, Spain and India.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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