CF Industries to buy Viterra's interests in Canadian Fertilizers

Thu Aug 2, 2012 11:25pm EDT

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Aug 2 (Reuters) - Fertilizer producer CF Industries Holdings Inc said it inked a deal with Glencore International to buy a minority stake in Canadian Fertilizers Ltd (CFL) owned by Viterra for C$915 million ($911 million) in cash.

The deal will give U.S.-based CF Industries full control of Canadian Fertilizers, which owns Canada's largest nitrogen fertilizer complex, located in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

It replaces a previous agreement under which Glencore planned to sell the stake in Canadian Fertilizers to farm products retailer Agrium Inc, a deal which had raised competition concerns among Canadian farmers.

CF Industries said the purchase of about 34 percent of CFL's outstanding stock would add about 425,000 gross tons of ammonia and 275,000 tons of urea per year to its nitrogen production capacity in a region with low natural gas costs.

Early this year, Glencore agreed to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Viterra in a deal valued at C$6.1 billion.

Glencore's takeover of Viterra still requires approval by some regulators, but has been approved by Canadian authorities. Glencore had agreed to sell some Viterra assets to Agrium and grain handler Richardson International Ltd, which still needs approval by Canada's Competition Bureau.

Agrium's purchase of the stake in the fertilizer plant was a sore point with Canadian farmers, who feared Agrium would gain too much control over the production of nitrogen fertilizer.