Canadian Grain Giant Viterra Bought by Glencore, Not Cargill

The Wall Street Journal earlier this month reported that Viterra was expected to explore the interest of a handful of interested buyers, including Cargill.

Swiss commodities producer Glencore International AG will acquire Saskatchewan-based Viterra-a company that Cargill, Inc., was reportedly interested in buying.

The companies made the announcement Tuesday, thus ending speculation that Wayzata-based Cargill could be poised to buy Viterra, Canada's largest grain handler.

For Viterra, Glencore will pay in Canadian dollars what amounts to about $6.2 billion in U.S. currency.

“Viterra employees created a world-class agri-business, of which I am very proud,” President and CEO Mayo Schmidt said in a statement. “This has been recognized by Glencore and its partners, and this transaction creates value and opportunities for employees, our communities, farmers, and customers in all the markets we serve.”

Earlier this month, Viterra said that it had “received expressions of interest from third parties,” and the announcement sent its stock up 24 percent that day. A short time later, The Wall Street Journal, citing unnamed sources, reported that Viterra was expected to explore the interest of a handful of interested buyers-including Cargill.

The newspaper named Glencore as another possible suitor, but said that a $90 billion merger that the company is now attempting with South Africa-based Xstrata PLC could make it difficult for Glencore to also complete a purchase of Viterra.

Cargill is Minnesota's largest private company based on revenue, which totaled $119.5 billion in its most recent fiscal year.