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The Associated Press March 20, 2012, 9:57AM ET

Commodities firm Glencore to buy Canada's Viterra

Swiss-based commodities firm Glencore International PLC agreed Tuesday to buy Canada's largest grain handling company Viterra Inc., in a deal valued at 6.1 billion Canadian dollars ($6.14 billion).

Glencore will immediately sell on the majority of Viterra's Canadian assets and certain other businesses to Agrium and Richardson International for about CA$2.6 billion in cash, it said.

The announcement comes a day after Viterra revealed it was in exclusive talks with a potential buyer.

Glencore said it will buy all shares of Viterra for CA$16.25 per share in cash, a premium of about 50 percent over its trading value before the first word of a possible deal emerged March 8.

"The acquisition of Viterra is consistent with Glencore's strategy of strengthening its position as one of the global leaders in grain and oilseeds markets," said the company based in Baar, Switzerland.

Shares in Glencore were down 2.3 percent at 411 pence in afternoon trading in London.

Glencore is already one of the world's biggest traders in raw materials, such as coal, cotton and corn. Last year, Glencore underwent a $10 billion IPO and it recently announced plans for a $90 billion merger with Anglo-Swiss mining group Xstrata PLC.

Canadian authorities will likely examine whether the takeover of Viterra is a "net benefit" to Canada. They have previously blocked Glencore rival BHP Billiton's takeover of Potash Corp. because of concerns.

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