Activist investor Jana Partners cuts stake in Agrium

Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:34pm EDT

Oct 10 (Reuters) - Activist hedge fund Jana Partners LLC trimmed its holding in Agrium Inc 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 percent as of Oct. 8, according to a regulatory filing.

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 business.

Agrium has, in the past month, raised its dividend by 50 percent to $3.00 per share on an annualized basis and appointed Chuck Magro to replace Mike Wilson as chief executive 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.

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