Agrium Says No to Biggest Shareholder Jana Partners

August 16, 2012 James Heinsman In the News

New York-based Jana Partners has been urging Agrium Inc to sell off its retail distribution business in order to cut costs, but officials at Agrium are refusing to do so.

Jana, an activist investment firm, owned over 6.5 million shares of Agrium at the end of June, but has since increased its investment position and now is said to hold close to 5 percent of the company’s stock.

Jana has quietly been trying to persuade Agrium, one of the largest suppliers of seeds, fertilizer and agricultural equipment in the world, to divest of its retail division, making it more valuable to investors as a single company with one function.

However Agrium executives disagree, and have been clear about their intention to not sell off the retail division of the company.

"Spinning off [the business] would expose Agrium shareholders to substantial risk with no sustainable benefit, and we will not be pursuing it," Agrium Chief Executive Michael Wilson explained.

Agrium Inc, Jana Partners, Michael Wilson,

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