Bloomberg News

Saskatchewan’s Wall Says Viterra Not as Strategic as Potash

March 12, 2012

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said Viterra Inc. (VT) isn’t “strategic” for the Canadian province like Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., though his government will review any takeover bid for the grain handler to make sure a sale benefits the province.

Saskatchewan will give input into any federal government review of a takeover to ensure the transaction is of “net benefit,” Wall told reporters today in Regina, according to a recording provided by his office. Wall later told lawmakers in Saskatchewan’s legislature that he will defend the province’s interests and will undertake a thorough analysis of any transaction.

“This doesn’t fit our own definition of a strategic resource,” Wall said, adding there are other factors the province would consider in its own net benefit test, including the fiscal impact and economic benefit to the province.

“It’s important that everyone know as we go forward that Saskatchewan will be engaged in the process in a deliberate way and we would ask the question is this a net benefit to Saskatchewan and Canada?” Wall said.

Glencore International Plc (GLEN) has expressed interest in acquiring Viterra, Canada’s biggest grain handler, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The federal industry department reviews foreign acquisitions of companies with assets valued at more than C$330 million ($332 million) under the Investment Canada Act to determine if they are a “net benefit” to the country.

Wall led opposition to the 2010 hostile takeover bid of Potash Corp. by BHP Billiton Inc. The federal government rejected the proposed deal, saying it didn’t provide a net benefit to Canada.

To contact the reporters on this story: Andrew Mayeda in Ottawa at amayeda@bloomberg.net; Theophilos Argitis in Ottawa at targitis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net


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