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Viterra, Glencore Extend Merger Completion Date a Month

Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Viterra Inc. extended the date for completing its proposed C$6.1 billion ($6.2 billion) takeover by Glencore International Plc by a month while the companies await regulatory approval from China’s Ministry of Commerce.

The companies expect to get approval under Chinese anti-monopoly law by Nov. 15, Regina, Saskatchewan-based Viterra said in a statement today.

Glencore, the largest publicly traded commodity supplier, agreed to buy Viterra to add grain assets in Canada and Australia as growth in Asia boosts demand. The Baar, Switzerland-based company said July 15 it received approval for the deal from the Canadian government.

Fei Deng, a senior vice president at Edgeworth Economics LLC in San Francisco, said the delay was most likely due to understaffing and doesn’t mean the deal won’t be approved. Only one deal has been blocked in the last four years.

“In general, it takes longer for MOFCOM to get clearance than other jurisdiction such as the U.S. and the EU,” Deng said. “They are much smaller than their counterparts in the U.S. and they’re processing an increasing number of deals.”

Viterra gained less than 1 percent to C$16.09 at the close in Toronto. Glencore fell 2.4 percent to 338.45 pence at the close in London.

To contact the reporter on this story: Liezel Hill in Toronto at lhill30@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net

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