China approval clears way for Glencore-Viterra deal


Glencore International Plc received approval from China's Ministry of Commerce for its C$6.1 billion ($6.17 billion) acquisition of Canadian grain handler Viterra Inc, clearing the last regulatory hurdle for the long-delayed deal.

The takeover, one of the largest in the global agriculture industry in years, was originally expected to close by late July.

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Viterra shareholders overwhelmingly accepted Swiss-based Glencore's offer of C$16.25 per share in May.

Viterra, which has operations in China, South Australia and several other countries, said it now expects the deal to be finalized on December 17.

Friday's approval was the last outstanding regulatory nod for the acquisition.

Viterra shares, which touched a seven-month low in late October on concerns over the delays, closed at C$15.85 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Glencore shares were down 1.2 percent at 341.5 pence on the London Stock Exchange on Friday at 1200 GMT.

($1 = 0.9894 Canadian dollars)

(Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das)