Terra sees green in CF’s bid

November 2, 2009

The three-way fertilizer fight between CF Industries, Terra and Agrium may be approaching its end game. Over the weekend, CF raised the cash portion of its hostile offer for smaller rival Terra. It said it was able to add more cash because of strength in stock and debt markets.

CF is itself fending off a hostile takeover bid from Agrium. Last month, possibly throwing a monkey wrench into CF’s bid for Terra, Agrium said it would sell part of a nitrogen fertilizer facility to Terra to overcome regulatory issues related to its hostile takeover bid for CF.

In its latest move, CF is offering $32 in cash — including a $7.50 special dividend that Terra plans to pay — and 0.1034 of a share of CF common stock for each Terra share. That would amount to $40.61 per share based on CF’s Friday closing price and represents a 28 percent premium to Terra’s Friday closing price, the company said in a statement. It is about 5 percent higher than CF’s previous stock bid of 0.465 CF shares for every Terra share.

But perhaps more importantly, the new bid would not require approval from CF shareholders as it is now mostly cash. Terra had said CF would not be able to get its all-stock offer approved by CF shareholders. Cutting them out of the process is always a good way to help move a deal along.

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