October 20, 2016 / 5:37 PM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Glass Lewis recommends Agrium, Potash investors back merger

(Adds recommendation for Potash Corp shareholders, background)

Oct 20 (Reuters) - Investor advisory company Glass Lewis said on Thursday it recommended that Agrium Inc and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc shareholders support a proposed merger, saying it would create a bigger, more diversified company.

The recommendation follows Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recommending support for the merger from investors in each company last week.

The all-stock deal was announced on Sept. 12. It would combine Potash’s crop nutrient production capacity, the world’s largest, with Agrium’s farm retail network, North America’s biggest.

Agrium shareholders will meet to vote in Calgary, Alberta, on Nov. 3, while Potash investors meet the same day in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Potash shareholders would own 52 percent of the new company.

The deal, which requires two-thirds approval by shareholders of each company, is expected to be completed by mid-2017, pending regulator review.

U.S.-listed shares of both companies were down slightly on Thursday afternoon.

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

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