Jana sees two of its candidates added to Agrium board

Reuters

Activist shareholder Jana Partners LLC said on Monday that two of its five candidates appeared to have garnered enough votes to join Agrium Inc's 12-member board.

U.S. hedge fund Jana, Agrium's biggest shareholder with 7.5 percent, said candidates Barry Rosenstein and David Bullock appeared to be successful, with results of the proxy battle scheduled for release at Agrium's annual general meeting in Calgary, Alberta, on Tuesday. Agrium was not immediately available for comment.

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Jana is pressing the Canadian fertilizer company to independently review a possible spinoff of its farm retail division, make better use of capital and cut retail costs.

Agrium said it favors the status quo and highlights the steep rise in its share price as evidence that it is on the right track.

Jana said it expects that Agrium shareholders cast about 59 million votes on the activist's proxy for one or more of its candidates. The company has roughly 149 million shares outstanding.

Agrium shares were up about 1.6 percent in both Toronto and New York trading.

(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Euan Rocha in Toronto; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Jeffrey Benkoe)