Viterra raising $300M for “strategic opportunities”

Canada’s largest grain company has confirmed it will raise $300 million through a senior note offering to move on “strategic opportunities” in the not-too-distant future.

Viterra, which on June 22 said it would “consider” such an offering, said Friday it has gone ahead with an agreement with a syndicate of agents to sell $300 million of 8.5 per cent senior notes due July 7, 2014.

The proceeds from the offering are to be used for “general corporate purposes,” the Regina-based company said, but its CEO said management sees possibilities for future investments.

“We are mindful that we must move quickly when the capital markets are open and receptive,” Mayo Schmidt said in a release Friday.

“While we do not require capital immediately, we do see a number of smaller strategic opportunities on the horizon that we believe will provide solid returns for our stakeholders,” he said.

“Being in position to move with the appropriate capital structure and when the timing is right is extremely important in building value for our stakeholders.”

The offering, scheduled to close around about July 7, was placed through a syndicate of agents led by TD Securities that also includes Scotia Capital, RBC Capital Markets, J.P. Morgan Securities Canada, CIBC World Markets, National Bank Financial, and HSBC Securities, Viterra said.

Viterra hasn’t shied away from acquisitions in recent months, making plans for a friendly $1.4 billion takeover of Australian grain handler ABB Grain.

Viterra also said Thursday it had successfully closed its previously-announced deal to buy the Associated Proteins expeller-press canola crushing facility at Ste. Agathe, Man., for $64 million.

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