SWISS grain trader Glencore International AG has firmed as the likely winner in the battle for Canadian company Viterra Inc.Overnight, Viterra issued a statement to the Toronto Stock Exchange saying it had entered into exclusive discussions with a third party regarding the possible acquisition of the company.
The Wall Street Journal identified that third party as Glencore, quoting a "person familiar with the matter''.
The newspaper said Glencore could involve Canadian partners as part of the bid to reduce financial risks with the takeover and blunt local political opposition.
Speculation has been rife some of those Canadian partners may be Agrium Inc – which bought AWB before on-selling its grain business to Cargill – and Richardson International, Canada's second largest grain trader.
Viterra and Glencore have interests in the Australian grain industry.
Viterra bought Adelaide-based ABB Grain Ltd in 2009, while Glencore took over Brooks Grain Pty Ltd in August, 2005.
Shares in Viterra on the TSX had been trading between $C11 and $C12 a share for the past 12 months, but have jumped to more than $C16 ($A14.75) a share with takeover speculation.