Agrium Inc.
NYSE : AGU
TSX : AGU

Agrium Inc.

November 16, 2009 18:30 ET

Riskmetrics Recommends CF Stockholders Tender Their Shares Into Agrium's Best and Final Offer

Report criticizes CF board's accountability

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Nov. 16, 2009) -

ALL AMOUNTS ARE STATED IN U.S. $

Agrium Inc. (TSX:AGU) (NYSE:AGU) today announced that the independent proxy advisory firm, RiskMetrics Group, has recommended CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CF) stockholders tender their shares into Agrium's best and final offer of $45.00 in cash and one common share of Agrium for each CF share, equivalent to $98.78 per CF share or a total consideration of approximately $4.9 billion, based on Agrium's closing stock price of $53.78 on November 16, 2009.

Agrium's offer represents a 109% premium to CF's January 15, 2009 price of $47.23, and a premium of 78% to CF's closing price of $55.58 on February 24, 2009, the day before Agrium announced its initial proposal.

Mike Wilson, Agrium President and CEO said, "We are pleased that RiskMetrics has recommended that CF stockholders tender their shares into our compelling offer and are gratified that the independent advisory service has taken the CF board to task. Despite CF's assurance to RiskMetrics that it would engage with Agrium in light of the strong support of CF stockholders for an Agrium/CF transaction, the CF board has continuously stonewalled Agrium's efforts and ignored its own stockholders for nearly 9 months."

Wilson added, "Our offer is CF stockholders' final opportunity to make it clear to the CF board that they want to receive a premium rather than pay one. We urge CF stockholders to tender their shares by the offer's expiration at midnight on November 18, 2009, to send an unambiguous message that they want this deal with Agrium at this price. With support for an Agrium/CF combination from a resounding majority of CF stockholders, we expect the CF board will do the right thing and move forward with Agrium's offer. If CF refuses to act, Agrium will consider all options, including nominating a slate of directors to the CF board and pursuing litigation."

In its report, RiskMetrics noted the following:

- "Given the extraordinary nature of the CF board's 'end run' around its own shareholders, we remain concerned about the accountability of the CF board going forward...and here we frankly cannot confirm that due consideration was given to the June tender results by the CF board."

- "...one thing is not open to debate: a majority of CF shareholders sent a strong message to the CF board that the status quo should be abandoned for a new strategy. However, over the subsequent five months, it does not appear that the CF board has changed from its pre-referendum strategy in any meaningful way. CF continues to stonewall Agrium and pursue its acquisition of Terra (a transaction on which CF shareholders will have no say)..."

Agrium's offer, which is fully financed, expires at midnight New York City time on November 18, 2009.

Additional Information

RBC Capital Markets, Goldman, Sachs & Co., and Scotia Capital are acting as financial advisors; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP as legal counsel; and Georgeson Inc. as information agent in connection with Agrium's offer.

Stockholder questions regarding the exchange offer or requests for offering materials should be directed to Agrium's information agent for the exchange offer, Georgeson Inc., toll-free at (866) 318-0506. Offering materials are also available on the SEC's web site at http://www.sec.gov/. CF stockholders are urged to read the offering materials filed by Agrium, which contain important information about the offer. For further information regarding Agrium's offer for CF, please visit http://www.agrium.com/.

About Agrium

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: http://www.agrium.com/.

Important Information

This press release does not constitute an offer to exchange, or a solicitation of an offer to exchange, common stock of CF Industries Holdings, Inc. ("CF"), nor is it a substitute for the Tender Offer Statement on Schedule TO or the Prospectus/Offer to Exchange included in the Registration Statement on Form F-4 (including the Letter of Transmittal and related documents) (collectively, as amended from time to time, the "Exchange Offer Documents") filed by Agrium Inc. ("Agrium") with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on March 16, 2009. The Registration Statement on Form F-4 has not yet become effective. The offer to exchange is made only through the Exchange Offer Documents. INVESTORS AND SECURITY HOLDERS OF AGRIUM AND CF ARE URGED TO READ THE EXCHANGE OFFER DOCUMENTS AND OTHER RELEVANT MATERIALS FILED WITH THE SEC CAREFULLY IN THEIR ENTIRETY AS THEY BECOME AVAILABLE BECAUSE THEY WILL CONTAIN IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THE OFFER TO EXCHANGE. Such documents are 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, North Acquisition Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Agrium, their respective directors and executive officers and certain other persons are 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 23, 2009 relating to the annual general meeting of its shareholders held on May 13, 2009. 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 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.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain statements and other information included in this press release constitute "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities legislation or constitute "forward-looking statements"(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, the possibility that a regulatory agency may challenge Agrium's proposed acquisition of CF pursuant to competition laws, 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.

Contact Information

  • Agrium Inc.
    Richard Downey
    Senior Director, Investor Relations
    (403) 225-7357
    or
    Agrium Inc.
    Todd Coakwell
    Manager, Investor Relations
    (403) 225-7437
    www.agrium.com
    or
    Georgeson Inc.
    Tom Gardiner
    (212) 440-9872
    or
    Sard Verbinnen & Co
    Drew Brown/Stephanie Pillersdorf
    (212) 687-8080