CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA — Viterra Inc. and Imperial Oil announced on Nov. 8 an agreement that will see Viterra enter the commercial and farm fuel market in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada.

Viterra will acquire bulk fuel assets, and has entered into a long-term agreement to serve as a branded reseller, hauler and cardlock operator of Esso fuels throughout parts of Canada's Prairie region.

Viterra operates an extensive network of full-service agri-business outlets throughout western Canada, and the Imperial Oil assets are strategically located within Viterra's Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta service areas.

"Fuel is a natural extension to Viterra's service offerings and business model. Viterra can now provide this essential product line to our customers and bundle it with financing options to assist growers with their seasonal cash flow needs," said Doug Wonnacott, Viterra's chief operating officer for agri-products.

"Imperial Oil is pleased to have forged this new relationship that will see Viterra become a branded reseller of Esso fuels to industrial and commercial customers on the Prairies," said Brad Merkel, vice-president and general manager, fuels marketing, Imperial Oil. "We are confident that the combined strengths of Viterra and Imperial Oil will bring additional value to customers of both companies."

The agreement was signed following a selection process by Imperial Oil and successful due diligence conducted by Viterra. Pending completion of the customary closing requirements, the transaction is effective on or about Dec. 1, with integration to follow.