I saw an email from someone in Australia asking, “What can you tell me about Viterra?” Viterra has acknowledged that it is in discussions to purchase ABB Grain Ltd. of Australia. The reported, but unconfirmed purchase price would be over a billion dollars. Where do you start in describing Viterra to someone in Australia? Viterra used to be Saskatchewan Wheat Pool, before it took over Agricore United. Agricore United was United Grain Growers, Alberta Wheat Pool and Manitoba Pool Elevators. Saskatchewan Wheat Pool used to be a farmer grain co-op. It went public in the mid-90s and had a near-death experience from financial problems. CEO and president Mayo Schmidt has turned a financial basket case into the country’s leading grain company. The company is now in expansion mode. Interestingly, it was a series of bad investments in everything from Robin’s Donuts to a grain terminal in Gdansk, Poland that got Sask Pool into financial difficulty years ago. Hopefully, Viterra knows what it’s doing as it pursues Australia’s ABB Grain. I’m Kevin Hursh.

www.hursh.caKevin Hursh, PAg, CAC