Fertilizer maker CF Industries, OCI end merger deal

Mon May 23, 2016 5:00am EDT
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May 23 (Reuters) - U.S. fertilizer maker CF Industries Holdings Inc and Dutch rival OCI NV ended their merger agreement on Monday, following the U.S. Treasury's steps to curb tax avoiding inversion deals.

CF Industries had agreed to buy OCI NV's North American and European plants for $6 billion in August, in addition to assuming $2 billion of OCI's debt, to create the world's largest publicly traded nitrogen company.

"...changes in the regulatory and commercial environments forced us to re-evaluate the combination," CF Industries Chief Executive Tony Will said in a statement.

CF Industries will pay OCI a termination fee of $150 million related to the deal.

In April, the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced new steps to curb "inversion" deals that U.S. companies do with foreign corporations, including earnings stripping.

The latest steps impose a 3-year limit on foreign companies bulking up on U.S. assets to avoid ownership requirements for a later inversions deal. (Reporting by Abinaya Vijayaraghavan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)