Agrium Inc. has moved its Annual General Meeting of Shareholders on April 9 in Calgary a full month ahead. The back-and-forth between AGU and activist investor JANA Partners of New York City has been a constant din since June and Agrium Board Chair Victor Zaleschuk has clearly had enough.
“JANA has been running its campaign for over eight months now. We are holding our Annual General Meeting a month earlier than usual to bring this matter to a close. We remain confident that we have overwhelming shareholder support.”
While JANA holds a 5% stake in the company, efforts by the New York hedge fund to woo shareholders appear to have worn out their welcome. JANA's plan is highly critical of AGU's structure and management and has been lobbying since June 2012 for a split of AGU's retail and wholesale divisions.
Despite JANA's best efforts, Agrium has made it clear that the company will not split. Nor does AGU have any interest in JANA's board candidates, which would seed the board with investors more sympathetic to JANA's cause than to Agrium's.
Zaleschuk continued, “Agrium’s Board has given JANA’s ideas due and thorough consideration and we have rejected them. JANA’s analysis is flawed, and its ideas would destroy shareholder value.”