* 62 percent of CF shares tendered to Agrium
* Agrium CEO says no plans to raise bid
* CF shares up 2.5 percent
(Adds Agrium CEO comment, CF comment, updates share price,
By Michael Erman
NEW YORK, June 23 Fertilizer maker Agrium Inc
(AGU.TO) said on Tuesday it would push ahead with its hostile
bid for rival CF Industries Inc (CF.N) after the offer was
backed by holders of more than 60 percent of CF's stock.
About 30.14 million CF shares, or 62 percent of the total
outstanding, were tendered to Agrium as of the suitor's Monday
night deadline. Agrium said it was extending the deadline by a
month, through July 22.
Although a majority of CF shareholders tendered their
shares in the offer, CF has a poison pill and other defense
mechanisms in place that would prevent Agrium from being able
to complete the deal.
Agrium Chief Executive Michael Wilson said on Tuesday his
company has no plans to raise its bid for CF unless the company
agrees to meet and can demonstrate additional value.
"We've been very clear throughout that this is a full and
fair offer," Wilson said in an interview. "There should be no
doubt in anyone's mind what this tender means."
CF shares rose $1.75, or 2.5 percent, to $71.07 in morning
trading on the New York Stock Exchange, well below Agrium's
cash-and-stock bid of $79.08 per share.
The arbitrage spread for the deal -- a measure of the
difference between a company's share price and the price a
buyer is offering -- is more than 10 percent. A spread of that
size indicates investors doubt the deal will close.
Agrium, a Canadian company, originally proposed to take
over smaller U.S. rival CF in February and has twice sweetened
its offer. It missed a deadline to put a slate of directors up
for election at CF's annual meeting earlier this year, a move
that would have given Agrium more leverage in the deal.
Earlier this month, Agrium said it would withdraw its bid
if it did not receive support from a "compelling majority" of
CF shareholders by the Monday night deadline.
It is currently offering $40 in cash and one common share
for each CF share, which values CF at around $3.8 billion.
CF has repeatedly rejected Agrium's overtures, contending
the offer substantially undervalues the company. CF is locked
in its own hostile takeover bid for Terra Industries Inc
TRA.N and has characterized Agrium's bid as an attempt to
scuttle that deal.
CF CEO Stephen Wilson said in a statement on Tuesday,
"Contrary to Agrium's assertions, the tender offer results do
not change the facts that Agrium's offer substantially
undervalues CF Industries, our shareholders do not support the
price in the offer, and the offer has significant regulatory
(Additional reporting by Euan Rocha in Toronto; editing by