Two Jana Partners Candidates Likely To Join Agrium Board

Two Jana Partners Candidates Likely To Join Agrium Board

Jana Partners LLC said today that two of its five nominees have received enough votes to join Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU) (TSE:AGU)’s 12-member board tomorrow during the company’s annual general meeting in Calgary, Canada.

Two Jana Partners Candidates Likely To Join Agrium Board

The American investment firm is the largest shareholder of Agrium Inc (USA) (NYSE:AGU) (TSE:AGU) with a 7.5 percent stake. The two candidates who appeared to have been successful are Barry Rosenstein and David Bullock.

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Though only Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU) (TSE:AGU) knows the results for both sides, Jana Partners said based on the voter turnout and the number of votes received by the two nominees, it estimates that both candidates will be elected.

In a press release, Japan Partners LLC thanked Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU) (TSE:AGU)’s shareholders for casting about 59 million votes for one or more of its nominees. Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU) (TSE:AGU) has about 149 million outstanding shares.

Jana Partners said that some shareholders told the Barry Rosenstein-led investment firm that Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU) (TSE:AGU) contacted them after the Canadian fertilizer company received full results, and asked them to switch their respective votes away from the five Jana Partners nominees.

Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU) (TSE:AGU)’s regulations allow it to extend the voting deadline if such a move helps the current board members win their re-election.

Jana Partners has been pressing Agrium Inc (NYSE:AGU) (TSE:AGU) to cut retail costs, spin off the farm retail business and make better use of its assets. However, Agrium doesn’t want to split. The agricultural products company said that its rising stock prices are evidence that the company is on the right track.

Earlier, Jana Partners said that the agricultural nutrient maker has been undervalued for several years. Though its has demonstrated growth on an absolute basis, Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU) (TSE:AGU) hasn’t explored its full potential. Jana claims Agrium Inc (NYSE:AGU) (TSE:AGU) is fundamentally mismanaged and its board has been slow on improving the situation.

American shares of Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU) (TSE:AGU) were up 1.43 percent to $97.47 at 11:21 AM EDT.

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