UPDATE 1-Jana takes case for Agrium breakup to Canada investors

Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:37pm EST
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* Jana wants retail division separate from wholesale

* Five board candidates to visit Canadian investors

* Agrium will make presentation to analysts on Monday

* Agrium closes at 4-1/2 year high before Jana statement

By Rod Nickel

WINNIPEG, Manitoba, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Activist shareholder Jana Partners LLC said on Wednesday it is taking its case for splitting up Agrium Inc to the fertilizer company's Canadian investors, just ahead of an Agrium move to solidify its support among sell-side analysts.

Jana, a New York-based hedge fund, wants Agrium to split its farm retail division from its wholesale operations and make other changes to improve returns to shareholders.

Agrium has steadfastly refused to consider spinning off its retail arm while seeking to placate disgruntled shareholders by raising its dividend last year and completing a share buyback.   Continued...