Agrium acquires majority of Europe’s CMF

10 April 2008 14:24  [Source: ICIS news]

Agrium acquires majority of EuropeLONDON (ICIS news)--Agrium has agreed to acquire 70% of Common Market Fertilizers (CMF), one of western Europe’s largest fertilizer distributors, the Canadian fertilizer major said on Thursday.

 

CMF has annual sales of $500-600m (€315-378m) and sells 2-2.5m tonnes/year of fertilizers.

 

Agrium would pay $16m plus working capital of about $50m for the stake, it said.

 

“This acquisition is a key step in our global wholesale distribution strategy," said Agrium CEO Mike Wilson.

 

"Europe will be a key end-market for product from our Egyptian nitrogen facility, which is currently under construction.”

 

 “CMF provides us with important access to major distribution assets across Europe, expansion of our sourcing footprint into Eastern Europe, as well as one of Europe’s most experienced teams in fertilizer logistics, distribution, purchasing and sales,” said Wilson.

 

The transaction was expected to close in the second quarter of 2008, subject to concluding a definitive purchase and sale agreement, due diligence and regulatory approval, Agrium said.

 

CMF CEO Oscar Geyer would remain as CEO, it added.

 

CMF has developed a large base of 1,500 customers, including retailers and cooperatives, across Europe over the past 24 years.

 

It operates through subsidiaries in France, Germany, Belgium, the UK, Italy and Bulgaria, and also markets product in Spain, the Netherlands, Ireland, Greece, Denmark and South America.

 

CMF owns and leases over 300,000 tonnes of dry and liquid storage at both port and inland sites across much of Europe.

 

CMF’s head office is in Brussels, Belgium. The privately-owned company has about 60 employees.

 

($1 = €0.63)

 

Stefan Baumgarten contributed to this article


By: Stephen Mitchell
+44 20 8652 3214



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