Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Canadian government gives OK to takeover of Viterra

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BAAR, Switzerland -- Glencore International plc said Friday it has received notice that Canada's Competition Bureau does not intend to challenge its proposed $6.1-billion takeover of Viterra Inc. (TSX:VT).

The Swiss commodities producer said it has received a "no action" letter from the federal competition watchdog, satisfying one of the conditions on the closing of the deal.

Viterra has called a special meeting of shareholders for May 29 to vote on the proposed takeover.

Glencore, through an indirect subsidiary, has agreed to acquire all of Viterra's outstanding shares at a price of $16.25 in cash per share.

The company's major shareholder, Alberta Investment Management Corp., together with Viterra's directors and executive officers, have agreed to support the arrangement and vote their shares in favour. They collectively own or exercise control or direction over approximately 16.5 per cent of Viterra's shares.

The takeover by a foreign company has come under government scrutiny because of potential effects on the Canadian market.

However, much of the business would remain in Canadian hands because under the deal, Calgary-based Agrium Inc. (TSX:AGU) and privately held Richardson International, based in Winnipeg, would buy the majority of Viterra's Canadian assets for a combined $2.6 billion in cash.

Viterra has operations across Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand and China, as well as a growing international presence that extends to offices in Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Switzerland, Italy, Ukraine, Germany, Spain and India.

It operates in three distinct business segments, grain handling and marketing, agri-products and processing.

Glencore is one of the world's leading integrated producers and marketers of commodities, with worldwide activities in the production, sourcing, processing, refining, transporting, storage, financing and supply of metals and minerals, energy products and agricultural products.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 5, 2012 B4

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