It looks like any cautious approach on Viterra Inc. is out of place. The shares surged to $16 on Thursday, up more than 9 per cent, after a morning trading halt was lifted and the company released an update on those “expressions of interest” it mentioned last week. Hopes for the name of a suitor and perhaps a bid weren’t met: The Canadian grain handler merely said that a “process has been established by the Board of Directors of Viterra, which includes confidentiality agreements being entered into and the provision of due diligence.”
Still, investors can smell a deal here – and a report from dealReporter that Viterra is looking at a price of $16 a share just to allow a potential suitor to get a glimpse of its books is apparently being taken seriously, given the stock’s current price. Since Viterra acknowledged last Friday that it was a takeover target, the shares have jumped more than 45 per cent, to a record high.
However, someone at Viterra is trying to downplay expectations. Its statement on Thursday warned: “Viterra is aware of press reports speculating about, among other things, the process, parties involved and third parties expressions of interest of at least Cdn$16 per Viterra common share. Viterra cautions investors not to rely on these press reports as there can be no assurance that a transaction will occur and that if one does occur, there can be no assurance at what price it will be completed.”
You can see the full statement here.