The commodities giant Glencore is set to weigh in on the takeover battle for Viterra, Canada's largest grain handler, with a joint bid with two local companies, Richardson International and Agrium.
Glencore, which is currently merging with the mining giant Xstrata, has been looking at expanding its agricultural business.
Shares in Viterra jumped nearly 10 per cent last night, valuing it at more than £4 billion, after it said it had opened its books to potential bidders.
The US grain traders Bunge and Archer Daniels are also believed to be interested.
The bid battle comes as Canada is preparing to abolish its Wheat Board's monopoly on wheat and barley sales later this year.