Bunge Seeks Antitrust Approval for Viterra Merger in Major Jurisdictions

Bunge Seeks Antitrust Approval for Viterra Merger in Major Jurisdictions
Photo: unsplash.com 07.11.2023 566

The company expects to receive approval for the merger from antitrust regulators without the condition of selling part of the assets.

Bunge has filed for regulatory approvals for its merger with crop handler Viterra in "major jurisdictions" in North and South America, Europe and China, and has gotten the green light from some of its smaller markets including Colombia, Chief Executive Officer Greg Heckman said on Thursday.

The merger, which would create a company worth $34 billion including debt, would bring the combined company closer in global scale to Bunge's leading rivals Archer-Daniels-Midland and Cargill.

The proposed combination with Glencore-backed Viterra, however, is attracting scrutiny from regulators concerned about consolidation in the agricultural sector.

Heckman told Reuters healthy commodities market competition in Canada, the United States, Brazil, Argentina, China and parts of Europe should allow Bunge to avoid having to sell assets to gain approval for the merger from antitrust authorities.

But if asset liquidations are required, Bunge believes demand for its assets is very strong, Heckman said at Reuters' Transform Food USA event in Minnesota.

Bunge expects to finalize the deal by mid-2024 after closing conditions are met and regulators sign off on the deal.

It was reported on May 25 that Bunge and Viterra were in talks to combine, without providing details on the deal's terms and timing.

According to market operators, the two companies united would also create a dominant exporter in Brazil and a market-leading soybean crusher in Argentina. Bunge was Brazil's largest corn and soybean exporter in 2022, while Viterra was the third largest corn exporter and seventh largest soybean supplier. Combined, the companies accounted for about 23.7% of Brazil corn exports in 2022 and 20.9% of Brazil soybean exports, Cargonave data showed.

Source: Reuters

agricultural markets  Brazil  China 

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