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Agrium Sees Purchase of Viterra Farm Stores in Early 2013: Report

Canadian fertilizer company Agrium Inc (AGU.TO) expects to close its $575 million purchase of Viterra Inc's (VT.TO) farm retail stores in the first quarter of 2013, after Glencore completes its takeover of Viterra, Agrium Chief Executive Mike Wilson said on Wednesday, Reuters reported.

Glencore International PLC's takeover of Viterra has been delayed until as late as December 10 as the companies await the final regulatory approval, from China's Ministry of Commerce.

Assuming the Glencore-Viterra deal closes as scheduled, Agrium will file for a review by Canada's Competition Bureau in late December and hopes to close the deal late in the first quarter, Wilson said.

Agrium would get 232 Canadian farm retail outlets - where it would sell seed, chemicals and fertilizer to farmers - as well as 17 stores in Australia.

The company is under pressure from its biggest shareholder, Jana Partners, to spin off the retail division.

Agrium shares were little changed, down 16 cents at $96.72.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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