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Viterra stockholders vote on Glencore bid next month

Stockholders in Canada’s largest grain handler are booked to vote with their shares in Calgary next month on a takeover bid from Swiss commodity giant Glencore.

Regina-based Viterra on Monday filed papers with federal securities regulators to announce a meeting of its security holders at an as-yet-unnamed venue in Calgary on May 29.

The proposed deal calls for Glencore, partnering with Canadian agribusinesses Richardson International and Agrium, to pay $6.1 billion for Viterra and carve up its assets three ways.

The deal still awaits approval from courts and the federal government, a review by the Saskatchewan government and an examination by the Competition Bureau of Canada.

At the shareholders’ meeting next month, Glencore will need the approval of at least 66.67 per cent of the holders of Viterra shares, represented in person or by proxy.

The Glencore bid already has the blessing of Viterra’s largest shareholder, Edmonton-based pension and endowment management firm Alberta Investment Management Corp.

AIMCo said last month it has pledged its 16.5 per cent stake in favour of the deal.

The takeover bid, if approved, will see Glencore pay $16.25 per share, cash, for all Viterra’s shares, then sell most of Viterra’s retail agri-products business and its 34 per cent stake in Canadian Fertilizer Ltd. to Calgary-based Agrium for $1.8 billion.

Winnipeg-based Richardson, already Canada’s second-biggest grain handler, will buy 23 per cent of Viterra’s Prairie grain handling assets, certain agrifood processing assets and the rest of Viterra’s retail business, for $800 million.

That part of the deal is expected to make Richardson comparable to Glencore’s remaining portion of Viterra in its grain handling market share on the Prairies.

Related stories:
Glencore confirmed as Viterra’s six billion dollar suitor, March 20, 2012
Alta. fund didn’t sow Viterra deal but reaps reward, March 21, 2012
Sask. farms out review of Viterra takeover, March 30, 2012

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