The Saskatchewan government is reviewing a $6.1-billion proposed acquisition of grain handler Viterra by Swiss company Glencore International, studying how the takeover will affect the province in terms of the farmers, farm inputs and the overall economy, according to reports. The review will also look at grain industry employment in Saskatchewan, competition within the western Canadian grain-handling system and Saskatchewan's strategic position in the international grain industry.
"On the grain-handling side, there appears to be actually a more diffuse market if this takeover happens because of the market concentration the former Viterra had and what's going to be happening with Richardson's or Pioneer elevators, so that part seems to be addressed, but again we're going to do the work," said Premier Brad Wall. "It's less clear on the input side, certainly with respect to not just fertilizers but the retail presence in rural Saskatchewan and across Western Canada."
Alberta Investment Management Corp., Viterra's largest shareholder, as well as Viterra's directors and senior executives, have agreed to support the deal. The transaction will require approval by two-thirds of the votes cast at a meeting of Viterra shareholders expected to be held in May. Saskatchewan's government will complete its review on May 7, but will likely take some time before it releases its position, said Wall.