Agrium extends CF Industries offer
Monday August 17, 2009, 2:57 pm EDT
Agrium extends takeover bid for CF Industries until Sept. 22
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) -- Fertilizer company Agrium Inc. is again extending a deadline for its hostile offer to buy out rival CF Industries Holdings Inc.
It is now giving CF shareholders until midnight Sept. 22 to decide. The proposed purchase price is $40 in cash plus one Agrium share per CF share.
The offer, which has been sweetened twice and repeatedly extended, was set to expire Wednesday.
Deerfield, Illinois-based CF has consistently resisted Agrium's takeover efforts, preferring instead to pursue a bid to acquire rival Terra Industries Inc.
Calgary, Alberta-based Agrium said Monday 10.5 million CF shares, or 22 percent of the company's outstanding shares, had been tendered to its offer as of Friday.
Agrium President and CEO Mike Wilson said the company remains fully committed to acquiring CF. The offer was originally made in February.
Agrium's strategy so far has been to keep up shareholder pressure on CF, in the hopes that the recalcitrant takeover target might eventually cede to the bid.
"Bottom line is that we believe that this is still a good offer," Agrium spokesman Richard Downey said.
"Their shareholders think it's a good offer and this is part of the process to keep the pressure on."
Back in June, about 30 million, or 62 per cent, of CF shares had been tendered to the Agrium offer. That number has since dwindled to around 10.5 million, or 22 per cent.
CF said Monday it's still not sold on the Agrium offer and remains committed to pursing its own hostile takeover of U.S. rival Terra Industries Inc.
"Agrium's offer is very far from compelling, and extending that offer is only intended as a distraction," CF said in a statement.
Agrium made its offer on the condition CF drop its bid for Terra.
In trading Monday, Agrium's shares fell more than 5 percent to $45.52 on the New York Stock Exchange.
CF shares fell about 4 percent to $79.45.
Source: Associated Press
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