CPP reported in talks for stake in Glencore agribusiness

(Dave Bedard photo)

Reuters — Commodity trading and mining firm Glencore is in advanced talks to sell a stake in its agricultural business to the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB), the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The CPPIB would take a stake of up to 40 per cent, valuing the business at about US$6 billion, the Journal reported on Tuesday, citing a source.

Glencore and CPPIB declined to comment.

The Canadian pension fund likely won an auction Glencore has been running, and a deal could be announced as early as this week, the Journal reported.

The Swiss trading giant had said last month it would offload more assets to shore up its finances to cope with a commodities rout and to cut down its debt.

Glencore had earlier lifted its target for disposals by $1 billion, to the $4 billion to $5 billion range.

The company had said it aimed to finalize the sale of a minority stake in its agriculture business, which includes Prairie grain handling giant Viterra, in its second quarter.

In October, the company was in talks with a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund and China’s state-backed grain trader COFCO, along with Canadian pension funds, to sell a stake in its agricultural assets, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Reporting for Reuters by Vishaka George in Bangalore, Eric Onstad in London and Matt Scuffham in Toronto.

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