Fertilizer Wars Heat Up Again (CF, TRA, AGU, MOO)

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Fertilizer maker CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CF) said it has purchased 7% of the shares of competitor Terra Industries Inc. (NYSE:TRA) on the open market. CF has also renewed its offer to purchase the remaining shares of Terra, this time for about $4 billion. The latest offer values Terra at about $40/share and includes a $7.50/share adjustment to pay for a special dividend that Terra proposes to issue to its shareholders.

CF Industries is itself trying to resist a buyout from Canadian fertilizer maker Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU), which last week extended its exchange offer for CF until October 22nd. That offer includes $40/share in cash plus one share of Agrium stock for each share of CF stock.

Fertilizer shares have been climbing slowly since last December, but with the exception of Terra, share prices are either flat or down over the last 52 weeks. Terra’s shares are moving up, more than likely on the continued efforts of CF to buy the company.

Terra’s shares are down about 1% in early trading to $35.50, near the company’s 52-week high of $37.25. CF shares are up about half a percent, to $86.55 and Agrium shares are up about 1.5% to $50.47.

Paul Ausick

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