INTERNATIONAL commodity powerhouse Glencore International announced Dec. 7 that China's Ministry of Commerce has approved Glencore's acquisition of Viterra Inc., Canada's largest grain handler.
"This was the final outstanding regulatory approval of Glencore's acquisition of Viterra pursuant to a court-approved plan of arrangement," Glencore said in a statement. "Glencore now expects the effective date of the arrangement to be ... Dec. 17, 2012, as a result of Viterra and Glencore having agreed to extend the date for completion of the arrangement."
The company said when the $6 billion deal closes, it will provide shareholders with $16.25 (Canadian) per share. At that point, the buyout of Viterra will boost Glencore's presence in global grain markets; Glencore is now a major trader in metals, minerals and energy products.
As part of the deal, Glencore has agreed to sell large chunks of its Canadian business to Agrium Inc. and Richardson International, both based in western Canada.
Swiss-based Glencore is reportedly the world's largest public commodity trading company. Viterra is based in Regina, Sask.
Chinese authorities needed to approve the buyout since Viterra is part of a joint venture canola processing plant in China.