September 1, 2016 / 9:47 PM / 3 years ago

Agrium unit to divest some stores in Canada farm retail deal

President and CEO Chuck Magro of Agrium addresses shareholders during the company's annual general meeting in Calgary, Alberta, May 6, 2015. REUTERS/Todd Korol

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (Reuters) - Crop Production Services (CPS), a farm retail subsidiary of fertilizer producer Agrium Inc AGU.TO, has agreed to sell four Alberta stores to resolve competition concerns around its proposed purchase of smaller rival Andrukow Group Solutions, Canada’s antitrust regulator said on Thursday.

CPS agreed in April to buy Andrukow’s 17 farm retail stores in the Canadian province of Alberta and one in Saskatchewan, for an undisclosed price.

The Competition Bureau said it found in its review that Andrukow and CPS compete in selling nitrogen fertilizer and other crop inputs to farmers in areas around the four Andrukow stores.

Separately, Agrium said on Tuesday it was in merger talks with Potash Corp of Saskatchewan POT.TO. That deal, potentially worth more than $25 billion if completed, is also expected to face regulatory scrutiny.

Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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