* Expects purchase of Viterra assets to close Feb-March
* Will become one of two biggest W. Canada grain handlers
By Rod Nickel
WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Dec 7 Canadian grain-handler
Richardson International Ltd expects to get Competition Bureau
approval for its purchase of some Viterra Inc assets by
the end of the year, Richardson President Curt Vossen told
Reuters on Friday.
Glencore International Plc's C$6 billion ($6
billion) acquisition of Viterra, Canada's biggest gain handler,
has cleared its final regulatory hurdle and is expected to close
Dec. 17, setting the stage for Glencore to trigger previously
arranged sales of some Viterra assets to Richardson, Agrium Inc
and CF Industries Holdings Inc.
Vossen said Canada's Competition Bureau has already had
extensive discussions with Richardson, a privately held
Winnipeg, Manitoba company.
"We're feeling generally pretty confident that it will get
approval pretty much in totality," Vossen said in an interview.
"I'm not getting a sense that there is going to be a wholesale
concern by the Competition Bureau."
Assuming the regulator approves the deal by year's end,
Richardson's transaction with Glencore should close as early as
Feb. 1 or as late as March, he said.
Richardson intends to buy 23 percent of Viterra's
grain-handling assets and certain processing assets in North
America, for C$900 million. The deal would leave Richardson and
Glencore with roughly one-third each of Western Canada's
grain-handling capacity, and establish them as the two biggest