The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board has reached a deal to buy 40 percent of Glencore’s agricultural business, which includes Viterra, for US$2.5 billion.
“We are pleased to be partnering with CPPIB as we embark on the next stage of the development of Glencore Agri,” said Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg in a statement early Wednesday morning. “Under Glencore’s ownership the business has been successfully rebased, particularly following the Viterra acquisition in 2012 and is well-positioned to benefit from long-term global macro and sector trends. CPPIB have a proven track record in the sector and share our vision for the future growth of the business through value-creating organic and inorganic growth opportunities for the benefit of all stakeholders. We welcome them aboard and look forward to continuing our good relationship as we work together.”
Glencore Agri’s asset network includes more than 200 storage facilities, 31 processing facilities and 23 ports around the world, including Viterra’s grain handling facilities in Canada and Australia. The company employs more than 12,000 people and operates in more than 30 countries.
After buying Canada’s largest grain handler at the time, Viterra, for approximately US$6.2 billion in 2012, the deal values 100 percent of the equity in Glencore Agri at US$6.25 billion.
“As an asset class, agriculture is an excellent fit for a long-term investor like CPPIB, and we are excited about the opportunity to acquire a significant stake in Glencore Agri, a leading agricultural business,” said Mark Jenkins, the CPPIB’s Senior Managing Director and Global Head of Private Investments. “Glencore Agri complements our existing portfolio of agriculture assets, bringing global exposure, scale and diversification. In addition, Glencore Agri’s experienced management team has a proven track record of growth, and combined with a successful business model, we see this as a compelling opportunity that aligns with CPPIB’s long-term investment horizon.”
Both sides have agreed to an initial four year lock-up period subject subject to a carve-out for Glencore to sell up to another 20 percent stake. Either the CPPIB or Glencore may also call for an initial public offering of Glencore Agri after eight years from the date of closing.
The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2016, with the proceeds going to reducing Glencore’s debt.
After closing, the CPPIB would appoint two directors to the board of Glencore Agri. They would sit alongside two Glencore-appointed directors and the CEO.