Glencore takeover of Viterra to wait as late as November 15

Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:41am EDT

The logo of Glencore is seen in front of the company's headquarters in the Swiss town of Baar September 7, 2012. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer

The logo of Glencore is seen in front of the company's headquarters in the Swiss town of Baar September 7, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Michael Buholzer

(Reuters) - Glencore International Plc's (GLEN.L) takeover of Canada's biggest grain handler, Viterra Inc VT.TO, may not close until as late as November 15 as a review by China's Ministry of Commerce continues, Viterra said on Wednesday.

The C$6.1-billion ($6.2 billion) deal was originally expected to close by late July, pending regulatory approvals.

China's MOFCOM is the last regulatory approval required, under the nation's anti-monopoly law.

The takeover delay would also slow the completion of side deals Glencore has to sell some Viterra assets to Agrium Inc (AGU.TO) (AGU.N), Richardson International Ltd and CF Industries Holdings Inc (CF.N).

Glencore has agreed to sell most of Viterra's Canadian and Australian farm supply stores to Agrium for C$575 million, and some of Viterra's country elevators, port storage space and processing plants to Richardson for C$900 million.

Glencore would sell Viterra's minority stake in Canadian Fertilizers Ltd, which is an Alberta nitrogen plant, to the site's majority owner, CF Industries, for C$915 million.

Agrium would probably complete its deal in early 2013, spokesman Richard Downey said, pending approval by Canada's Competition Bureau and assuming Glencore completes the Viterra takeover as late as mid-November.

In Toronto, Viterra shares were up 0.1 percent at C$16.09, but still below the Glencore offer of C$16.25, which shareholders have already accepted. Agrium gained 0.4 percent.

Glencore stock was down 2 percent in London, while CF Industries edged up 0.2 percent in New York.

($1=$0.98 Canadian)

(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Bangalore equities newsroom; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Lisa Von Ahn)

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