That’s a wrap: Glencore now running Viterra

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Viterra’s chief operating officer will be Glencore International’s new point man in the North American grain market, as the company officially takes charge of Canada’s biggest grain handler.

Glencore on Monday announced it has formally completed its $6.1 billion deal to buy the Regina-based grain firm, giving the Swiss commodity player "immediate critical mass in the key grain markets of North America through Viterra’s substantial Canadian operations."

The takeover also "materially expands Glencore’s existing operations in Australia" and "reinforces Glencore’s position as one of the world’s leading commodity suppliers," the company said in a released.

In charge of Glencore’s North American operations will be Fran Malecha, who until now was Viterra’s COO, having come to the company in 2000 as its vice-president of grain merchandising and transportation.

Malecha’s title with Glencore will be "director, agricultural products, North America." While he has until now lived in Calgary, Glencore said he will be based in Regina, now the headquarters for Glencore’s North American agricultural products business.

Malecha, who was raised on a mixed farm in Minnesota and has a degree in accounting, worked in the grain division of food processing firm General Mills before coming to Viterra.

On the other side of the equator, David Mattiske will be Glencore’s "country manager, agricultural products, Australia and New Zealand" with responsibility for all agricultural operations in the two countries.

Glencore said it expects "all integration projects" such as its deals to sell certain Canadian Viterra assets to Calgary’s Agrium and Winnipeg’s Richardson International, will be completed by the end of next year.

Until the two deals are sealed, Glencore "will continue to support these assets."

Related story:
Approvals all in for Glencore’s Viterra takeover, Dec. 7, 2012