Activist investor Jana cuts stake in Agrium

Activist hedge fund Jana Partners LLC trimmed its holding in Agrium and said it was pleased with the fertilizer company’s recent capital return and change in chief executive.

Jana, which was Agrium’s largest shareholder with a 7.5 percent stake, cut its holding in the company to 2.7 per cent as of Oct. 8, according to a regulatory filing.

Calgary-based Agrium, the world’s third largest nitrogen producer, has faced pressure from Jana to return capital to shareholders and split the company’s wholesale fertilizer and retail businesses.

Agrium has, in the past month, raised its dividend by 50 per cent to US$3 per share on an annualized basis and appointed Chuck Magro to replace the retiring Mike Wilson as CEO next year.

Jana expects that recently announced management changes will lead to improvements in Agrium’s openness and responsiveness to proposals for value creating change, the hedge fund said in the filing.

Barry Rosenstein-led Jana is now Agrium’s third largest shareholder, according to Thomson Reuters data. — Reuters

Related stories:
Agrium seals deal for Viterra retail chain, Oct. 2, 2013
Agrium claims sweeping win in proxy battle for board, April 9, 2013

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