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Saskatchewan to review proposed Viterra deal

A Viterra grain storage facility is shown on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 in Saskatoon.

Liam Richards/Liam Richards/THE CANADIAN PRESS

The Saskatchewan government wants to know how a proposed takeover of grain handler Viterra by a Swiss company will affect the province.

The government is reviewing the $6.1-billion deal that would see Viterra acquired by Glencore International — although much of the business would remain in Canadian hands.

Premier Brad Wall says the review will look at employment, the impact on competition and the effect on the province's economy and revenues.

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The government is to get the report from Informa Economics Inc. by May 7 and make it public a few days later.

Saskatchewan did a similar analysis of BHP Billiton's ultimately unsuccessful bid for Potash Corp. in 2010.

The study formed the basis of Saskatchewan's opposition to that deal and to the province's recommendation to Ottawa, which decides on such matters.

Glencore has offered $16.25 a share for Viterra. Calgary-based Agrium Inc. and privately held Richardson International, based in Winnipeg, would in turn buy the majority of Viterra's Canadian assets for a combined $2.6 billion in cash.

Glencore has said that it wants to use Viterra to build its business in North America.

The Competition Bureau will do its own review but it's unclear how long that will take.

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