Agrium takes over UAP

Fertilizer firm Agrium’s friendly takeover of U.S. ag retailer UAP is nearly complete, with nearly all UAP shares tendered to the Calgary company’s offer.

As of its deadline last Friday, about 98.5 per cent of UAP’s outstanding shares had been tendered to Agrium’s $39 per share offer and not withdrawn, the company said in a release Monday.

The final step, merging UAP with an Agrium subsidiary, is expected in the next several days. Once that occurs, UAP’s shares (UAPH: Nasdaq) will no longer be publicly traded.

Agrium’s bid for UAP got approval from U.S. antitrust regulators the day before Agrium’s deadline, which it had extended five times since first announcing its bid in December.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s approval comes with a requirement that Agrium/UAP sell seven specific retail outlets. Canada’s commissioner of competition approved the merger back in January.

Agrium and UAP together plan to make Agrium the largest North American retailer of crop inputs and services. Colorado-based UAP runs about 370 distribution and storage facilities and three formulation plants, selling chemicals, fertilizer and seed to farmers, commercial growers and regional-level dealers.

UAP’s Canadian wing, based at Dorchester, Ont., includes warehouses in B.C., Quebec and Ontario and product lines of herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, nutrients, adjuvants, inoculants, growth regulators and other specialty products.

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