Canada Pension Plan, Saudi firm leading Glencore unit bidding

(Reuters) — Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and state-owned Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co. are among the lead bidders for a minority stake in the agriculture unit of Glencore, Bloomberg has reported.

Glencore’s agricultural unit includes Viterra.

The firms are presenting final bids for the unit this month and Glencore is open to selling stakes to more than one party, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Glencore aims to slash net debt to US$17-$18 billion by the end of 2016, $1 billion more than previously planned, by offloading more assets amid a prolonged commodities rout.

Glencore declined to comment.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Saudi Agricultural and Livestock Investment Co were not immediately available for comment.

Glencore’s earnings and share price have been battered by weak commodity prices but since the beginning of this year its share price has jumped 89 percent as commodities such as iron ore, copper and gold rebound.

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