Competition Bureau secures remedy in sale of agri-products business to Agrium

OTTAWA, September 5, 2013 — The Competition Bureau announced today that it has reached a Consent Agreement with Agrium Inc. to resolve competition concerns related to Agrium's proposed acquisition of the majority of Viterra Inc.’s retail agri-products business from Glencore International plc.

This Consent Agreement follows a review of the proposed transaction, during which the Bureau concluded that the acquisition would likely lead to a substantial lessening or prevention of competition in the retail supply of anhydrous ammonia and urea to farmers in certain areas of Alberta and Saskatchewan. Under the terms of the Consent Agreement, Agrium will divest seven retail stores and nine anhydrous ammonia businesses. Agrium will also supply anhydrous ammonia to any purchaser of the divested assets for up to four years at prices not to exceed those charged to its retail outlets in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

"I commend the merging parties for their cooperation throughout the merger review and for reaching this agreement that will preserve competition in the retail supply of anhydrous ammonia and urea in Alberta and Saskatchewan," said John Pecman, Commissioner of Competition. "The Bureau is committed to ensuring that Canadians have competitive prices and product choices."

Mergers in Canada are subject to review by the Bureau under the Competition Act to ensure that they will not result in a substantial lessening and/or prevention of competition. The merger review process involves collecting information from, and conducting interviews with, a wide range of industry participants, including the parties, suppliers, competitors, customers and industry experts.

For additional information on the Bureau’s review of the matter, including the retail stores and anhydrous ammonia businesses to be divested by Agrium, please consult the Position Statement.

Once filed with the Competition Tribunal, the Consent Agreement will be available on the Tribunal's website.

The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.

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