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on September 10, 2009

ABB shareholders approve Viterra’s takeover bid

The deal would create one of the world’s largest exporters of wheat, canola and barley.

Australian grain company ABB Grain has received shareholders' approval for a takeover by Canadian agribusiness firm ViterraThe Australian reported. The deal, which would create one of the world's largest exporters of wheat, canola and barley, worth nearly AUD$4 billion (US$3.45 billion), was supported by about 83% of ABB's shareholders. 

Viterra has offered ABB a mix of cash, Viterra shares and franked dividends between AUD$9 (US$7.76) and AUD$9.50 (US$8.19) a share. If the proposal is accepted at value of AUD$9.50 (US$7.76)  a share, ABB Grain will be assessed at AUD$1.64 billion (US$55.15 billion).

The Australian firm, in a federal court hearing scheduled for September 10, will request court approval. If granted, ABB Grain would take ownership on September 23.

The two companies would benefit from their counter-seasonal businesses, Mayo Schmidt, Viterra's CEO was quoted as saying.

"We believe that having access to the quality production from these two regions will enhance the combined group's ability to serve customers in high-growth import markets," ABB Grain Chairman Perry Gunner said.

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