USA- Global agribusiness Bunge has announced that its shareholders have approved its acquisition of Viterra, expected to close in mid-2024.

The plans were revealed earlier this year, with the two-grain specialist businesses initiating talks on the potential merger at the end of May.

The US$8.2 billion agreement was confirmed in June, aiming to create a global agribusiness company aiming to meet the demands of “increasingly complex markets” to better serve farmers and end-customers.

Bunge’s shareholders approved the acquisition of Glencore-backed Viterra last week, including the issuance of 65,611,831 common shares. The company’s shareholders also voted in support of moving Bunge’s incorporation from Bermuda to Switzerland.

Greg Hackman, CEO of Bunge, said: “We appreciate our shareholders’ vote of confidence in our strategy to position Bunge as a premier global agribusiness solutions company through the merger with Viterra”.

He added: “Our team is focused on effectively running our operations while also planning for a successful integration”.

The merger is subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals.

Pertaining to these regulatory approvals, leaders from four Canadian farm groups, recently penned a letter to Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Minister, urging the government of Saskatchewan to conduct a thorough risk assessment concerning the proposed merger of Bunge and Viterra, currently under review by Transport Canada and Competition Bureau Canada.

These groups included the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan (APAS), SaskCanola, Sask Wheat, and SaskBarley. 

In the letter, the leaders commended the government’s past efforts, specifically referencing the assessments conducted in 2010 for the proposed merger of BHP Billiton and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, as well as the 2012 examination of the Glencore-Viterra merger. 

The four organizations strongly advocate for a similarly rigorous approach for the present proposal.

Bunge to acquire equity stake in Brazilian soy crusher

Meanwhile, a report by Reuters reveals that Bunge is purchasing South Korean CJ Cheiljedang Corp.’s equity stake in Brazilian soy crusher CJ Selecta.

CJ Selecta, based in Minas Gerais, Brazil, is one of the largest exporters of soy protein concentrate with an industrial unit in Araguari, a commercial office in São Paulo, and several branches throughout Brazil. 

While Bunge did not disclose the value of the transaction, Korean media reports valued it at US$357 million for a 66% stake.

The purchase strengthens Bunge’s position as a large soy processor in Brazil, which is the world’s largest producer and supplier of the oilseed.