Glencore obtains government go-ahead for $6.1 billion Viterra bid

Swiss commodity supplier Glencore International obtained approval from the Canadian federal government on Sunday for its application to buy up Canadian agribusiness titan Viterra Inc., bringing the $6.1 billion deal that much closer to completion.

Canadian Industry Minister Christian Paradise approved the bid under the Investment Canada Act, saying in a press release that the deal “is likely to be of net benefit to Canada” and lauding Glencore for its “commitments to Canada.”

The approval is not without controversy, however, with Deputy Liberal Party leader Ralph Goodall criticizing the Harper Conservatives for “rubber-stamping” the foreign buy-out of a key Canadian company on the sly.

The deal currently awaits approvals from relevant authorities in China, New Zealand and Australia, with some suggesting that it may not meet its deadline if China’s Ministry of Commerce does not give the go ahead on schedule.

Glencore plans to ramp up Viterra’s planned capital spending in Canada by more than $100 million over a five year period, and has stated that it will support grain industry undertakings in Manitoba.

Viterra’s Regina head office is also slated to remain the headquarters of the company’s North American agricultural operations.