Canada fertilizer companies Agrium and PotashCorp confirmed the two are in preliminary merger talks. The Wall Street Journal reports the talks come as the industry contends with slumping earnings amid persistently low prices for crop nutrients. While no decision has been made, any potential deal would create a company with a total market value of more than $28 million. Those close to the talks say a deal could be struck next week. A merger would help Potash, the world’s largest fertilizer producer by capacity, protect its earnings against volatile moves in crop nutrient prices by giving it access to Agrium’s steady retail business. For Agrium, a deal would expand its product lines of potash and other fertilizer ingredients.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.
Agrium Confirms Discussions With PotashCorp Regarding Potential Merger of Equals
Agrium Inc. (TSX: AGU) (NYSE: AGU) confirmed that it is in preliminary discussions with Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. (PotashCorp) (TSX: POT) (NYSE: POT) regarding a potential merger of equals.
No decision has been made as to whether to proceed with such a combination, no agreement has been reached, and there can be no assurance that any transaction will result from these discussions.
Agrium Inc. is a major global producer and distributor of agricultural products, services and solutions. Agrium produces nitrogen, potash and phosphate fertilizers, with a combined wholesale nutrient capacity of over nine million tonnes and with significant competitive advantages across our product lines. We supply key products and services directly to growers, including crop nutrients, crop protection, seed, as well as agronomic and application services, thereby helping growers to meet the ever growing global demand for food and fibre. Agrium retail-distribution has an unmatched network of over 1,400 facilities and over 3,800 crop consultants who provide advice and products to our grower customers to help them increase their yields and returns on hundreds of different crops. With a focus on sustainability, the company strives to improve the communities in which it operates through safety, education, environmental improvement and new technologies such as the development of precision agriculture and controlled release nutrient products. Agrium is focused on driving operational excellence across our businesses, pursuing value-enhancing growth opportunities and returning capital to shareholders. For more information visit: www.agrium.com
Certain statements and other information included in this document constitute “forward-looking information” and/or “financial outlook” within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation or constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable U.S. securities legislation (collectively, the “forward-looking statements”). All statements in this news release other than those relating to historical information or current conditions are forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, statements as to management’s expectations with respect to: updated 2016 annual guidance, including expectations regarding our diluted earnings per share; capital spending expectations for the remaining two quarters of 2016; expectations regarding performance of our business segments in 2016; expectations regarding completion of previously announced acquisitions; and our market outlook for the remainder of 2016, including nitrogen, potash and phosphate outlook and including anticipated supply and demand for our products and services, expected market and industry conditions with respect to crop nutrient application rates, planted acres, crop mix, prices and the impact of currency fluctuations and import and export volumes. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, which could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward- looking statements. As such, undue reliance should not be placed on these forward-looking statements.
All of the forward-looking statements are qualified by the assumptions that are stated or inherent in such forward-looking statements, including the assumptions referred to below and elsewhere in this document. Although Agrium believes that these assumptions are reasonable, this list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect any of the forward-looking statements and the reader should not place an undue reliance on these assumptions and such forward-looking statements. The additional key assumptions that have been made include, among other things, assumptions with respect to Agrium’s ability to successfully integrate and realize the anticipated benefits of its already completed and future acquisitions and that we will be able to implement our standards, controls, procedures and policies at any acquired businesses to realize the expected synergies; that future business, regulatory and industry conditions will be within the parameters expected by Agrium, including with respect to prices, margins, product availability and supplier agreements; the completion of our expansion projects on schedule, as planned and on budget; assumptions with respect to global economic conditions and the accuracy of our market outlook expectations for 2016 and in the future; the adequacy of our cash generated from operations and our ability to access our credit facilities or capital markets for additional sources of financing; our ability to identify suitable candidates for acquisitions and negotiate acceptable terms; our ability to maintain our investment grade rating and achieve our performance targets; and our receipt, on time, of all necessary permits, utilities and project approvals with respect to our expansion projects and that we will have the resources necessary to meet the projects’ approach. Also refer to the discussion under the heading “Key Assumptions and Risks in Respect of Forward-Looking Statements” in our 2015 annual MD&A and under the heading “Market Outlook” in this document, with respect to further material assumptions associated with our 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: general global economic, market and business conditions; weather conditions, including impacts from regional flooding and/or drought conditions; crop planted acreage, yield and prices; the supply and demand and price levels for our major products may vary from what we currently anticipate; governmental and regulatory requirements and actions by governmental authorities, including changes in government policy, government ownership requirements, changes in environmental, tax and other laws or regulations and the interpretation thereof, and political risks, including civil unrest, actions by armed groups or conflict, regional natural gas supply restrictions, as well as counterparty and sovereign risk; delays in completion of turnarounds at our major facilities; gas supply interruptions at the Egyptian Misr Fertilizers Production Company S.A.E. nitrogen facility expansion in Egypt; the risk of additional capital expenditure cost escalation or delays in respect of our Borger nitrogen expansion project and the ramp-up of production following the tie-in of our Vanscoy potash expansion project; and other risk factors detailed from time to time in Agrium reports filed with the Canadian securities regulators and the Securities and Exchange Commission in the U.S. including those disclosed under the heading “Risk Factors” in our Annual Information Form for the year ended December 31, 2015 and under the headings “Enterprise Risk Management” and “Key Assumptions and Risks in respect of Forward-Looking Statements” in our 2015 annual MD&A.
Agrium disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements in this document 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.