Glencore, Agrium and Richardson interested in Viterra

March 15, 2012 - 8:09am Updated: March 15, 2012 - 4:53pm
Regina Viterra Building. Karen Brownlee/News Talk Radio
Regina Viterra Building. Karen Brownlee/News Talk Radio

The Globe and Mail is reporting a trio of companies are interested in a bid.

Those would be Glencore, Agrium and Richardson.

Agrium is reportedly most interested in Vitera's network of retail farm supply stores.

Richardson would take the elevators and port capacity.

And Glencore would take the balance of the Canadian assets, but also take over Viterra's operations in Australia.

The majority of Viterra's Canadian assets WOULD remain in Canadian hands. There are hopes this would allow easier approval by the government.

Shares closed Wednesday around $16 before trading halted this morning. Now the board of directors for the company has set up a process to review potential takeover bids.

Bidders were told they had to offer at least this much per share to access the company's internal data.

Hong Kong-based Noble Group Ltd along with US companies Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Bunge Ltd are reported to be in the company's 'data room' according to reports from specialty news service dealReporter cited by Bloomberg.

A UK newspaper reported Glencore’s bid for the company was more than $5 billion. A story in the Globe and Mail  earlier today said Glencore would sell the retail farm supply operations if it bought Viterra. The story cites sources briefed by the CEO.

None of the companies have confirmed these reports of bids. They do come at a time when Viterra is in a position to benefit from the end of the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly.

Last week, the Regina-based grain handler reported it has had several expressions of interest from potential buyers. Names of possible bidders then included Swiss commodities dealer Glencore PLC and U.S. agribusiness dealer Cargill.

Edited by News Talk Radio’s Adriana Christianson and Karen Brownlee