Fertilizer giants Potash Corp., Agrium ink $38-billion tie-up – by Andrew Wellis (Globe and Mail – September 12, 2016)


Agricultural giants Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. and Agrium Inc. announced a $38-billion (U.S.) merger Monday, unveiling a reworked executive team and plans for an aggressive expansion. The one thing the two agricultural heavyweights didn’t disclose is the name for what will be the world’s largest fertilizer company.

Two weeks after news of merger talks leaked, Potash and Agrium announced terms of a deal their advisers called “Project Champion,” with a reworked executive team and strategy for building the company with $500-million of annual cost savings and aggressive expansion of a business that has 20,000 employees in 18 countries selling crop nutrients to farmers.

The merger is expected to be finalized by the middle of 2017, if shareholders, regulators and Canadian courts sign off, and the two companies said Monday they plan to announce a new name for what will be the third largest global commodity company prior to closing the deal.

The merger will see existing Potash shareholders own 52 per cent of the combined entity, while Agrium shareholders will hold 48 per cent. The registered head office will be in Saskatoon, home to Potash, and the company will have corporate offices in both Saskatchewan and Calgary, where Agrium has its headquarters.

Potash and Agrium are already partners in selling fertilizer through commitments to a market company called Canpotex and sources close to the transaction said “Project Champion” was born early this year when the two CEOs started talking about uniting small divisions under the Canpotex umbrella, then realized the potential opportunities in combining forces.

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