Why are we assessing the proposed acquisition of Viterra Limited by Bunge Limited?

    On August 15, 2023, the Minister of Transport was notified of the proposed acquisition of Viterra Limited by Bunge Limited. Under the Canada Transportation Act, the Minister had 42 days to decide whether the proposed transaction impacted the public interest in the national transportation system and whether a public interest assessment was needed. The Minister considered factors like the potential impact on competition and the parties’ ownership stakes in port terminals. On September 26, 2023, the Minister of Transport decided that the proposed acquisition raises public interest issues related to national transportation.

    What happens during a public interest assessment?

    Every public interest assessment is different. For this assessment, we will gather facts and closely examine how the proposed acquisition would impact the public interest in the following key areas:

    • economic impact
    • competition in the port sector
    • rerouting of goods
    • operating efficiencies
    • trade
    • innovation and investment
    • employment
    • safety
    • environment

    Engaging with stakeholders is critical for a public interest assessment. Transport Canada will speak with stakeholders and experts from across the country. This includes Canada Port Authorities, grain companies, rail and marine transportation companies, and some provincial governments.

    Engaging with the public is also an important part of a public interest assessment. This online public consultation will make sure that Canadians can share their views on the proposed acquisition.

    In parallel, the Commissioner of Competition will assess how the proposed acquisition could impact competition in the agricultural sector.

    What happens once the public interest assessment is complete?

    Transport Canada has until June 2, 2024, to complete the public interest assessment and report to the Minister. The Commissioner of Competition will also complete a report on the competition considerations and submit it to the Minister prior to June 2.

    If the assessment raises public interest or competition concerns, the Minister will then consult with the Commissioner of Competition and work with Viterra Limited and Bunge Limited to address these concerns. The Minister will then make a recommendation to the Governor in Council (Cabinet) for consideration. The Governor in Council could allow the acquisition as proposed, allow it with conditions, or reject it.