Glencore is in exclusive talks to buy Canadian grain giant Viterra

COMMODITIES giant Glencore is close to a deal to buy Viterra, Canada’s biggest grain handler, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Viterra and Glencore are still in talks on price, but a deal could be reached within days at a price above C$16 per share, said the source, who could not speak publicly because discussions are ongoing.

At C$16 a share, Viterra would be worth some C$5.9bn (£3.8bn).

Viterra said in a statement yesterday it was in exclusive talks with one prospective buyer, but it did not identify the suitor.

Glencore, which is also pursuing a £56bn merger with Xstrata, has partnered with Canadian fertiliser maker Agrium and a privately-owned grain trader Richardson International, with the aim of splitting the company between them.

Viterra, the leading Canadian handler of spring wheat, barley and oats, has become a takeover target largely due to the Canadian government’s decision to end the Wheat Board’s monopoly on export sales of wheat and barley, later this year.

The acquisition of Viterra would help Glencore, led by Ivan Glasenberg (left) to expand its presence in the wheat and barley export markets.

Glencore boss Ivan Glasenberg (pictured left) is also pursuing a