UPDATE 2-Jana expects two of its candidates to win Agrium board seats

Mon Apr 8, 2013 11:17am EDT
 
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* Jana eyeing breakup of fertilizer company

* Deadline for most forms of voting passed on Friday

* Agrium shares up nearly 2 percent in Toronto

April 8 (Reuters) - Jana Partners LLC said on Monday that it believed two of its five candidates garnered enough votes to join Agrium Inc's 12-member board, but the Canadian fertilizer company said it expected to prevail.

Jana, Agrium's biggest shareholder, said candidates Barry Rosenstein and David Bullock looked to be successful. Agrium plans to release the election results at its annual general meeting in Calgary, Alberta, on Tuesday.

Jana, which holds a 7.5 percent stake in Agrium, is pressing it to consider spinning off its farm retail division, make better use of capital and cut retail costs.

The proxy battle is the latest attempt by a shareholder to shake up a Canadian board after Pershing Square's ouster of Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd's chief executive officer last year. Unlike CP, however, Agrium has seen strong stock appreciation and earnings results.

Agrium said it favors the status quo and highlights the steep rise in its share price as evidence that it is on the right track.

Jana said it was basing its prediction of the election results on the number of votes it believes Rosenstein and Bullock have received and the typical turnout for contested Canadian board elections, although it conceded that only Agrium knows the outcome so far.   Continued...