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Freehills and JWS advise on Viterra/ABB Grain merger

Freehills and JWS advise on Viterra/ABB Grain merger

Deal name: Viterra Inc's offer to acquire ABB Grain LtdValue: $1.6 billionKey players: Freehills, Johnson Winter & SlatteryFreehills is advising Viterra Inc., Canada's largest grain handler,…

Deal name: Viterra Inc's offer to acquire ABB Grain Ltd

Value: $1.6 billion

Key players: Freehills, Johnson Winter & Slattery

Freehills is advising Viterra Inc., Canada's largest grain handler, in relation to its recently announced offer to acquire Adelaide based ABB Grain Ltd. ABB Grain is being advised by Johnson Winter & Slattery (JWS).

ABB Grain is the world's second-largest barley exporter and fourth-largest wheat shipper. The acquisition, valued at $1.6 billion, will be a mixture of cash and scrip via a scheme of arrangement.

Viterra recently raised part of the cash consideration through a successful subscription receipts offering in Canada. For the scrip component of the scheme, it is proposed that ABB shareholders choose between Canadian shares listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange or Australian CDI's listed on the ASX.

Mayo Schmidt, President and CEO of Viterra said the completion of the deal would create a globally competitive entity,

"With assets in the key exporting geographies of Australia and Canada, the new company will have enhanced access to high growth markets and margin opportunities. We will be financially stronger and better able to access capital and manage risks required to succeed in the global marketplace."

The Freehills team is led by partner Philippa Stone and senior associate Nicola Yeomans, supported by solicitors Anna Southworth, Robert Tang and Shona Seaton.

"The transaction shows that value accretive M&A is still available to strong industry players," Stone commented.

The JWS team acting for ABB Grain is comprised of partners John Keeves,Tim Bowleyand Jim Hunwick.

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