A number of regulatory hurdles must be cleared before Glencore’s deal to acquire Viterra will be finalized.

As part of the agreement, Richardson International will acquire 23 percent of Viterra’s Canadian grain handling assets, including the Red River South and South Lakes elevators, and Can-Oat Milling at Portage.

“There are a number of different stages along the way, with the first one being Glencore requiring its regulatory approvals. There is a Viterra shareholder meeting scheduled to approve the transaction, and then thereafter, we have to obtain our own regulatory approvals,” explained Vice-President of Corporate Affairs and General Counsel Jean-Marc Ruest, speaking at the Canada Grains Council annual meeting in Winnipeg on Monday.

He explained producers can expect more of the same from Richardson’s Pioneer elevators.

“We’ve been in the business for 155 years. I think we’ve managed to develop good relationships with our producer customers, both on the crop input and grain contract side. This obviously gives us a larger presence in western Canada, and it creates a presence in certain markets that we hadn’t been in before,” said Ruest. “It gets us there and we get to offer another option to a number of new customers.”

The Winnipeg-based grain handler will move from 25 to 34 percent market share on the prairies, while Glencore’s assets will account for approximately another 34 percent. For comparison, Viterra currently holds 45 to 46 percent market share.

Current employees at the impacted locations will be offered the opportunity to join Richardson.

Ruest declined to comment on when they expect the deal could be finalized.

(Kelvin Heppner, “Portage Online”, Apr 17 2012)