Glencore eyeing acquisition of Bunge

Global commodity giant Glencore — the majority owner of Regina-based grain company Viterra — is looking to expand its agriculture business, and has approached Bunge about a possible takeover.

In a statement on Tuesday, Glencore confirmed it has “made an informal approach to Bunge Limited regarding a possible consensual business combination.”

Glencore notes “discussions may or may not materialize and there is no certainty that any transaction will occur.”

Bunge responded by issuing a statement saying it is “not engaged in business combination discussions” with Glencore.

The Switzerland-based company bought Viterra — one of the two largest grain companies in Canada — for US$6.2 billion in 2012. It has since sold 49.9 percent of its agriculture business to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (40 percent) and British Columbia Investment Management Corp (9.9 percent).

Bunge owns several oilseed processing plants in Canada and is partnered with the Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Company (SALIC) in a joint venture that owns 50.1 percent of G3 Global Grain Group — the company formed from the privatization of the Canadian Wheat Board.

Bunge’s shares rose as high as 16 percent after the news broke on Tuesday. The company’s annual shareholder meeting is scheduled to be held in New York on Thursday.

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