Transport Canada has until June 2, 2024 to complete its assessment
By Diego Flammini
Canada’s transport ministry will review Bunge’s proposed acquisition of Viterra.
Transport Minister Pablo Rodriguez announced the review of the US$8.2 billion deal on Sept. 26, highlighting that each company hold ownership in port terminals in Canada.
Bunge is involved with G3 while Viterra owns the Cascadia and Pacific Terminals at the Port of Vancouver, one in Thunder Bay, Ont., and one in Montreal.
“Healthy competition in the transportation sector is necessary to ensure fair pricing and access for users, especially Canadian farmers,” the minister said in a statement.
Under guidelines related to this part of federal transportation law, factors “may be considered to determine whether a proposed transaction raises issues with respect to the public interest as it relates to national transportation,” the Canada Transportation Act says.
This potential deal meets the criteria, the minister says.
“Given this transaction is of significant national interest in Canada’s transport sector and the broader supply chain, it will be reviewed under the mergers and acquisitions provisions of the Canada Transportation Act,” he said in the statement. “Goods must continue to move smoothly, and our supply chain must continue to grow stronger.”
The Transport Canada review will include reps from Canada’s ports and marine industry, stakeholders, other government departments and the public.
The review process can take up to 250 days, until June 2, 2024.
This is the second federal government review of the Bunge/Viterra deal.
In June, the Competition Bureau announced it would also review the agribusiness deal.
“The Bureau has a mandate to review mergers to determine whether they are likely to result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition,” Jayme Albert, a spokesperson with the bureau, told the Canadian Press. “Should we determine that the proposed transaction is like to harm competition, we will take appropriate action.”
Farms.com has contacted Bunge for comment.