Canada’s Agrium to drop bid for CF Industries

11 March 2010 23:55  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Canadian fertilizer retailer Agrium will let its takeover bid for CF Industries expire on 22 March, the company said on Thursday.

Agrium’s action followed CF’s latest offer to acquire Iowa-based rival Terra Industries for a combination of stock and cash valued at about $4.7bn (€3.4bn).

“We would like to thank CF stockholders for their support during our efforts to acquire CF. It is unfortunate we could not conclude this transaction, given the strong support shown by both CF and Agrium shareholders,” Agrium president and chief executive Mike Wilson said.

Wilson said that in addition to letting its offer expire, Agrium would also stop pursuing the election of its two nominees to the CF board of directors.

Agrium had offered to acquire CF for $45.00 in cash plus one Agrium share per CF share until 22 March. The Agrium offer was contingent on CF dropping its takeover attempt of Terra.

On 10 March, CF increased its offer to acquire all the outstanding shares of Terra for $37.15 in cash and 0.0953 of a share of CF for each Terra share.

Back on 12 February, Terra accepted a $41.40/share all cash takeover offer from Norway-based Yara that at that time was valued at $4.1bn.

"We believe that Terra is worth more to CF Industries than to any other acquirer, given the strategic benefits of the transaction, including synergies, which only CF Industries can achieve," CF president and chief executive Stephen Wilson said on Wednesday.

"Any offer from Yara must be heavily discounted for the substantial risks and length of time associated with closing," Wilson added.

Under its agreement with Terra, Yara has five business days to meet or beat the CF offer.

Yara will respond to the latest CF offer by 17 March, a source said.

($1 = €0.73)

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By: Frank Zaworski
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