SWISS-based commodity firm Glencore International PLC said it has completed the acquisition of Canadian grain handler Viterra Inc.
"The acquisition brings Glencore immediate critical mass in the key grain markets of North America through Viterra's substantial Canadian operations. Viterra also materially expands Glencore's existing operations in Australia. The acquisition reinforces Glencore's position as one of the world's leading commodity suppliers," Glencore said in a statement.
Fran Malecha, a former chief operating officer at Viterra, was given responsibility for all North American operations. He will be based in Regina, Sask., which Glencore designated as North American headquarters for the agricultural products business.
David Mattiske was appointed Glencore's country manager for agricultural products in Australia and New Zealand.
Company officials underlined the significance of Glencore's buyout of Viterra.
Glencore director of agricultural products Chris Mahoney said, "By combining Viterra's first-class assets, grain logistics and processing insight with our global marketing capability, we have the opportunity to become a true leader across the sector with even greater means to meet the needs of farmers and customers globally. Glencore has acquired more than physical assets; we have gained the world-class skills and experience of Viterra employees, and we are already working well together to implement a smooth integration."
Glencore said it expects to complete the integration of Viterra over the next 12 months. Glencore said it expects to divest some assets by the end of 2013, selling parts of its Canadian business to Alberta's Agrium Inc. and Richardson International Ltd.