May 11, 2011 / 12:36 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-Agrium closes sale of AWB unit to Cargill

(Figures in U.S. dollars, unless noted)

TORONTO, May 11 (Reuters) - Fertilizer maker and farm products retailer Agrium Inc (AGU.TO) has completed the sale of the majority of the commodity management businesses of Australia’s AWB to Cargill Inc [CARG.UL] for $677 million.

Agrium last year acquired AWB for A$1.24 billion with an eye on the company’s prized Landmark farm retail outlets. In December, Agrium said it would sell AWB’s commodity management arm to Cargill, the U.S. agribusiness and trading giant, as it had no strategic interest in the asset. [ID:nN14252232] [ID:nSGE6BE062]

Agrium had not provided a final sale price for the grain marketing and handling business at the time. On Wednesday, Agrium said it received $677 million in cash from the sale, which includes the repayment of $363 million of working capital funding Agrium has provided to the business.

Calgary, Alberta-based Agrium said it continues to evaluate the sale of other parts of the commodity management business that are not being sold to Cargill, which are valued at over $55 million.

Agrium said its net purchase price for the Landmark retail operations, after adjusting for both completed and proposed AWB asset sales, is about $800 million.

Landmark, a leading agricultural retailer in Australia, has more than 200 company-operated locations, as well as more than 140 franchise and wholesale customer outlets, and investments in various related joint-venture companies. (Reporting by Euan Rocha)

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