Viterra plans share offering to fund growth

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — Viterra Inc., Canada’s largest grain handler, plans to sell 28,600,000 shares, or approximately 14% of its outstanding stock, for C$14 per share to underwriters led by TD Securities Inc. and Genuity Capital Markets. The underwriters also will have the option to buy an additional 4.3 million shares from Viterra at the same price up to 30 days after closing, the company said.

Viterra, which changed its name from Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Inc. in March, expects to generate approximately C$400.4 million ($395.5 million) from the stock sale, with proceeds being used for general corporate purposes as well as future acquisitions. The share offering is expected to close on or about May 9.

"Strong global demand for agricultural commodities has created a rich environment of opportunities for Viterra," said Mayo Schmidt, president and chief executive officer. "Our strategic expansion will be focused on increasing our value-added processing capabilities and growing our core operational footprint geographically."

Viterra, which has investments in animal feed and barley processing, last year acquired Winnipeg-based Agricore United in a C$1.76 billion transaction. The move increased Viterra’s share of Canadian grain handling to 42% from about 23%.

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