CALGARY, ALBERTA -- (Marketwire) -- 03/07/13 -- ALL AMOUNTS ARE STATED IN U.S.$
Agrium Inc. (TSX: AGU) (NYSE: AGU) today stated the open letter by JANA Partners released this morning is consistent with the New York hedge fund's flailing campaign to justify its ill-conceived break-up scheme.
"The facts are straightforward. JANA has been trying for over nine months to obtain support for its idea that Agrium should break itself into 2 or 3 smaller pieces. Agrium's shareholders have overwhelmingly rejected JANA's break up plan along with its other flawed ideas. Today, JANA continued to back track from its entire value argument and otherwise provided nothing new for shareholders. As a result, we believe JANA's attempt to run its own slate for Agrium's Board is certain to fail," said Agrium Board Chair Victor J. Zaleschuk. "It is unfortunate that JANA has chosen to personally attack directors who have impeccable track records as members of a Board that continues to oversee significant value creation and which has been recognized for excellence in corporate governance. I am proud of our directors and the role each of them has played in generating a 467% shareholder return over the past eight years."
JANA claims Agrium directors have not invested sufficiently in Agrium's stock. Agrium's directors have a total of $23.7 million at risk in Agrium shares. Excluding the two directors appointed to the Board last month, this represents an average of approximately $2.6 million per director. This may not be a lot of money to JANA CEO and hedge fund billionaire Barry Rosenstein, but it is a lot of money by Canadian standards and, in contrast to JANA's "golden leash" payments, ensures that the personal interests of Agrium directors are fully aligned with those of all shareholders.
Agrium Shareholders: The Proxy to Vote is WHITE
Your vote is important, no matter how many shares you own--Please submit your WHITE Proxy today FOR the election of the Agrium director nominees.
Proxies must be received by 11:00 a.m. (Calgary time) on April 5, 2013. Due to the limited time available, we recommend voting by internet, telephone or fax today or no later than 24 hours before the deadline. For ease of voting visit our website www.agrium.com/proxy.
Shareholders with questions or needing assistance in voting their WHITE proxy may call Agrium's Proxy Solicitation Agents as follows:
-- Canadian shareholders: CST Phoenix Advisors at 1-866-822-1242 (toll- free) or email firstname.lastname@example.org-- U.S. shareholders: Innisfree at 1-877-456-3442 (toll-free) or email email@example.com-- European shareholders: UK Toll Free: 0800 294 5237, European Investors outside the UK: +44 (0) 207 760 8956 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please discard any proxy or related materials you may receive from Jana Partners LLC.
Agrium Inc. is a major Retail supplier of agricultural products and services in North America, South America and Australia and a leading global Wholesale producer and marketer of all three major agricultural nutrients and the premier supplier of specialty fertilizers in North America through our Advanced Technologies business unit. Agrium's strategy is to provide the crop inputs and services needed to feed a growing world. We focus on maximizing shareholder returns by driving continuous improvements to our base businesses, pursuing value-added growth opportunities across the crop input value chain and returning capital to shareholders.