Glencore gets Chinese go-ahead for 6.1bn Viterra buy

The Swiss commodities giant Glencore said Friday that Chinese authorities have approved its purchase of the Canadian agri-business group Viterra and that it had thus cleared the last regulatory hurdle to the $6.1-billion deal.

"This was the final outstanding regulatory approval of Glencore's acquisition of Viterra," the Swiss company said in a statement, adding that it now expected the deal to take effect on December 17.

Glencore put in its $6.1-billion (4.7-billion-euro) bid for Viterra on March 20, offering a premium of 48 percent over the Canadian company's closing share price on March 8.

The deal, which immediately had the backing of the Viterra board and received a massive thumbs-up from shareholders in late May, amounts to one of the biggest takeovers in recent years in the agricultural commodities sector.

By July, Glencore had received the green light from regulators in Canada, the United States and Australia, but has had to wait patiently for the final approval from the Chinese to come through.

The Swiss company was already present in the agricultural commodities market, but the Viterra takeover will move it into a whole new league in a sector dominated by US giants Archer Daniels Midland and Cargill.

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