Agrium sees purchase of Viterra stores by early 2013

Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:18pm EDT

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(Reuters) - Agrium Inc (AGU.TO) (AGU.N) expects to complete its purchase of the bulk of Viterra Inc's VT.TO Canadian and Australian farm supply stores by the end of 2012 or early 2013, Agrium Chief Executive Mike Wilson said on Tuesday.

Agrium, the biggest U.S. farm retail supplier, is paying C$575 million ($593 million) for the stores, which sell seed, chemicals and fertilizer to farmers.

Agrium will buy the stores from Swiss-based Glencore International Plc (GLEN.L), which is expected to complete its takeover of Viterra this month.

Privately held Canadian grain handler Richardson International Ltd is buying some of Viterra's grain-handling elevators and crop-processing sites once Glencore's takeover is complete.

The Glencore-Viterra deal has received all approvals from regulatory authorities except China's Ministry of Commerce, which is reviewing the transaction.

Glencore's selloff of some Viterra parts to Agrium and Richardson still requires approval of Canada's Competition Bureau.

(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and John Wallace)

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