On March 17, 2014, Canada's Competition Bureau announced that it has
approved the sale of certain assets of Agrium Inc. to U.S. farm
cooperative CHS Inc. Agrium was required to sell seven retail
outlets and nine anhydrous ammonia businesses in Alberta and
Saskatchewan, as well as its anhydrous ammonia bullet tank in
Medicine Hat, AB and the Viterra Inc. retail outlet in Craddock,
AB, pursuant to a Consent Agreement entered
into by Agrium on September 5, 2013. The sale to CHS is expected to
close on April 1, 2014.
The divestiture was required in relation to Agrium's
acquisition of the majority of Viterra's retail agri-products
businesses from Glencore International plc. Viterra –
successor to the former Saskatchewan, Alberta and Manitoba Wheat
Pool co-operatives, as well as the largest grain handler in South
Australia and a significant food processor in Canada, Australia,
New Zealand and the United States - was initially sold to Glencore,
but Glencore simultaneously announced side agreements to divest
some Viterra assets variously to Agrium and Richardson
International Ltd., and (later) to CF Industries. The Bureau
cleared the acquisition of Viterra by Glencore in May 2012, and
Richardon's acquisition of some of Viterra's Canadian grain
handling assets in December 2012 (Stikeman Elliott LLP acted as
counsel to Richardson).
In September 2013, the Bureau issued a position statement outlining its review of
Agrium's retail agri-products businesses from Glencore
International plc. The details of the Consent Agreement, and the
review undertaken by the Bureau, were the subject of a previous post.
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