March 21 Shareholder advisory firm Egan-Jones
recommends that Agrium Inc investors vote for the
company's board candidates and not those of dissident
shareholder Jana Partners.
U.S.-based Egan-Jones, the first of several advisory firms
expected to issue opinions on the Agrium proxy battle, said in
its report it believes Agrium's current board provides effective
oversight and that Jana has not proved that change in its makeup
Jana has proposed five candidates for Agrium's 12-member
board and wants the company to split off its farm retail
division, improve its use of capital and cut costs, among other
"Our belief (is) that the dissidents have failed to make a
persuasive case that a corporate split involving a spinoff of
its farm retail division would result in the enhancement of
shareholder value," Egan-Jones said in its 25-page report.
Shareholders of the Canadian agribusiness have begun voting,
with the proxy battle winding up on April 9 at Agrium's annual
meeting in Calgary, Alberta.