Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Agrium makes new offer for fertilizer rival CF Industries

Fertilizer company Agrium Inc. said Monday it has launched a new salvo in its fight to acquire smaller U.S. rival CF Industries Holdings Inc.

Agrium makes new offer for fertilizer rival CF IndustriesAgrium 3-month TSX chart

Under the terms of its latest offer, Calgary-based Agrium is offering CF stockholders $40 in cash — an increase of $5, or 14.3 per cent — plus one common share of Agrium for each CF share.

Agrium said that the offer for CF is now worth $85.20 a share, based on its May 8 closing stock price.

"This substantial increase in cash, along with Agrium's strong and diversified business profile, provides CF stockholders with a very attractive opportunity and reaffirms our commitment to acquiring CF," Mike Wilson, Agrium's president and CEO, said, in a release.

Thus far, CF has rebuffed Agrium's offers and said it will proceed with its own attempts to acquire another industry competitor Terra Industries Inc.

Last month, CF shareholders turned down Agrium's urgings to withhold their votes from CF's slate of nominees during board elections at the company's annual meeting. All three of the CF-nominated directors up for re-election were returned to the board.

On Monday, CF Industries’ board of directors said it will evaluate the revised proposal "carefully in the context of CF Industries’ strategic plans to create shareholder value, including its proposed business combination with Terra Industries Inc."