Agrium Responds to CF Rejection of Agrium Offer
(Marketwire Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) CALGARY, ALBERTA, March 9 / MARKET WIRE/ --
ALL AMOUNTS ARE STATED IN U.S.$
Agrium Inc. (TSX: AGU) (NYSE: AGU) issued the following statement in response to today's rejection by CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: CF) of Agrium's fully financed offer of one Agrium common share and $31.70 in cash, valued at $72.00 per CF common share based on Agrium's price of $40.30 on February 24, 2009, the day prior to our offer.
"We are deeply disappointed that CF's board of directors has rejected Agrium's proposal without even attempting to engage us in exploratory discussions," said Agrium President and CEO Mike Wilson. "We continue to believe that our proposed transaction is a superb opportunity to create value for both Agrium and CF stockholders - we are motivated by the outstanding long-term prospects of this compelling combination and not, as CF alleges, by a desire to interfere with its attempt to buy Terra Industries. It appears that CF's Board and Management concluded that CF's stockholders would choose Agrium's offer over CF's proposed Terra acquisition and, as a result, decided to use an unusual non-voting security to deny their own stockholders a voice in this critical decision. We believe that CF stockholders view receiving a substantial premium from Agrium as a far superior alternative to paying a large premium to Terra stockholders. We expect to achieve approximately $150 million in operating synergies from the combination of Agrium and CF - 50 percent more than what CF has said it expects from a combination with Terra."
Mr. Wilson added, "While our preference is to work together with CF to negotiate a definitive merger agreement, we remain fully committed to acquiring CF and are considering all available options. We intend to commence shortly an exchange offer to acquire all outstanding shares of CF common stock."
RBC Capital Markets and Scotia Capital are acting as financial advisors to Agrium and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP are providing legal advice.
For further information regarding Agrium's offer for CF, please visit www.agrium.com.
Agrium Inc. is a major retail supplier of agricultural products and services in both North and South America and a leading global producer and marketer of agricultural nutrients and industrial products. Agrium produces and markets three primary groups of nutrients: nitrogen, phosphate and potash as well as controlled release fertilizers and micronutrients. Agrium's strategy is to grow through incremental expansion of its existing operations and acquisitions as well as the development, commercialization and marketing of new products and international opportunities. Contact us at: www.agrium.com.
This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or a solicitation of any vote or approval. This press release relates to a business combination transaction with CF proposed by Agrium, which may become the subject of a registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). This material is not a substitute for the prospectus/proxy statement Agrium would file with the SEC regarding the proposed transaction if such a negotiated transaction with CF is reached or for any other document which Agrium may file with the SEC and send to Agrium or CF stockholders in connection with the proposed transaction. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS OF AGRIUM AND CF ARE URGED TO READ ANY SUCH DOCUMENTS FILED WITH THE SEC CAREFULLY IN THEIR ENTIRETY IF AND WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION. Such documents would be available free of charge through the web site maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov, by calling the SEC at telephone number 800-SEC-0330 or by directing a request to the Agrium Investor Relations/Media Department, Agrium Inc., 13131 Lake Fraser Drive S.E., Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2J 7E8.
Agrium and its directors and executive officers and other persons may be deemed to be participants in any solicitation of proxies from CF's stockholders in respect of the proposed transaction with CF. Information regarding Agrium's directors and executive officers is available in its management proxy circular dated March 17, 2008 relating to the annual general meeting of its shareholders held on May 7, 2008. Other information regarding potential participants in such proxy solicitation and a description of their direct and indirect interests, by security holdings or otherwise, will be contained in any proxy statement or tender offer statement filed in connection with the proposed transaction.
All information in this press release concerning CF, including its business, operations and financial results, was obtained from public sources. While Agrium has no knowledge that any such information is inaccurate or incomplete, Agrium has not had the opportunity to verify any of that information.
Certain statements and other information included in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. federal securities laws or "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation (together, "forward-looking statements"). All statements in this press release, other than those relating to historical information or current condition, are forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, estimates, forecasts and statements as to management's expectations with respect to, among other things, business and financial prospects, financial multiples and accretion estimates, future trends, plans, strategies, objectives and expectations, including with respect to future operations following the proposed acquisition of CF. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements.
Events or circumstances that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to, CF's failure to accept Agrium's proposal and enter into a definitive agreement to effect the transaction, Agrium common shares issued in connection with the proposed acquisition may have a market value lower than expected, the businesses of Agrium and CF, or any other recent business acquisitions, may not be integrated successfully or such integration may be more difficult, time-consuming or costly than expected, the expected combination benefits and synergies and costs savings from the Agrium/CF transaction may not be fully realized or not realized within the expected time frame, the possible delay in the completion of the steps required to be taken for the eventual combination of the two companies, including the possibility that approvals or clearances required to be obtained from regulatory and other agencies and bodies will not be obtained in a timely manner, disruption from the proposed transaction making it more difficult to maintain relationships with customers, employees and suppliers, general business and economic conditions, interest rates, exchange rates and tax rates, weather conditions, crop prices, the supply, demand and price level for our major products, gas prices and gas availability, operating rates and production costs, domestic fertilizer consumption and any changes in government policy in key agriculture markets, including the application of price controls and tariffs on fertilizers and the availability of subsidies or changes in their amounts, changes in development plans, construction progress, political risks, including civil unrest, actions by armed groups or conflict, governmental and regulatory requirements and actions by governmental authorities, including changes in government policy, changes in environmental, tax and other laws or regulations and the interpretation thereof and other risk factors detailed from time to time in Agrium and CF's reports filed with the SEC.
Agrium disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements in this press release as a result of new information or future events, except as may be required under applicable U.S. federal securities laws or applicable Canadian securities legislation.
These forward-looking statements are based on certain assumptions and analyses made by us in light of our experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments as well as other factors we believe are appropriate in the circumstances. Expected future developments are based, in part, upon assumptions respecting our ability to successfully integrate the businesses of Agrium and CF, or any other recent acquisitions.
All of the forward-looking statements contained herein are qualified by these cautionary statements and by the assumptions that are stated or inherent in such forward-looking statements. Although we believe these assumptions are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on these assumptions and such forward-looking statements. The key assumptions that have been made in connection with the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, CF's acceptance of Agrium's proposal and the entering into of a definitive agreement to effect the proposed transaction, the market value of Agrium common shares issued in connection with the proposed acquisition, our ability to successfully integrate within expected time frames and costs, and realize the expected combination benefits and synergies and costs savings from, the combination of the businesses of Agrium and CF, or any other recent business acquisitions, and our ability to maintain relationships with customers, employees and suppliers during the course of the proposed transaction.
Senior Director, Investor Relations
Manager, Investor Relations
Sard Verbinnen & Co
Drew Brown/Stephanie Pillersdorf
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