Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has given its approval for Swiss commodities giant Glencore International Plc's $6-billion takeover of leading Canadian grain producer Viterra Inc.
''The ACCC has concluded that the proposed acquisition would be unlikely to substantially lessen competition as post merger Glencore would continue to face competition from a number of significant competitors in the market for grain trading in South Australia," ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.
Baar, Switzerland-based Glencore along with two Canadian partners had agreed to buy Viterra earlier in March. (See: Glencore to acquire Canadian grain handler Viterra for $6.2 bn)
Under the terms, Glencore will acquire the bulk grain handling assets of Viterra, including storage and port facilities in Canada and in Australia, while majority of its retail agri-business will be sold to Calgary-based farm retailer Agrium Inc for $1.8 billion.
Besides, Glencore will also sell Viterra's Canadian grain-handling assets, some agri-centres and processing assets in North America to privately-owned Richardson International, for $800 million.
Canada's competition watchdog had cleared the deal in early May. Subsequently, 99.8 per cent of Viterra's shareholders voted for the acceptance of Glencore's offer of $16.25 a share.
Last week, the Ontario superior court of justice also approved the takeover, despite some concerns raised by the provincial government of Saskatchewan, where Viterra is based.
Viterra expects the transaction to close by the end of July, subject to clearances under the Investment Canada Act and the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).