Agrium gets more shareholder support in proxy fight with Jana

March 18 Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:05pm EDT

March 18 (Reuters) - Canadian agricultural company Agrium Inc received a boost Monday in its proxy fight against hedge fund Jana Partners, as another shareholder sided with the board's candidates.

"The impact of Jana's proposals on the value of Agrium are, in our view, highly speculative," shareholder Letko, Brosseau & Associates Inc said in a statement.

Investment management firm Letko owns about 2.3 million shares of Agrium, or 1.5 percent of the outstanding stock.

Jana Partners wants the fertilizer producer to spin off its farm retail division, cut costs, make better use of capital and add more relevant experience to its board.

Agrium will conduct its annual meeting in Calgary, Alberta, on April 9, when shareholders will decide the makeup of its board of directors.

Another shareholder in Agrium -- British Columbia Investment Management Corp -- sided with the company on Friday saying it believed Agrium's current board was providing effective oversight.

Agrium shares closed down about 1 percent at C$103.16 on Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.