July 6, 2010 / 12:37 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 2-Agrium says Argentine assets to add $57 mln to sales

* Completes acquisition of Argentina retail assets

* Assets to add $57 million to annual revenue

* ASP says takeover means on track for 20 pct growth (Recasts, updates with comments from chief executive; crop output forecast; adds dateline)

BUENOS AIRES, July 6 (Reuters) - Canadian fertilizer maker Agrium Inc (AGU.TO) said it had completed the acquisition of retail assets and a production plant in Argentina, which would add about $57 million to its annual revenue.

The company, which already has a wholly owned retail network in Argentina, bought 24 retail farm centers from DuPont Crop Protection, as well as its crop protection formulation facility, as part of its push to expand its retail business.

Chief Executive Mike Wilson said in a statement the company was looking at possible acquisitions in key South American markets.

The deal brings the agricultural products retailer’s total number of retail farm centers in South America under the Agroservicios Pampeanos (ASP) name to 56 outlets, the company said.

“We’re optimistic that this acquisition will allow us to increase our footprint and reach out to Argentine farmers,” ASP Chief Executive Miguel Morley told Reuters. “We hope this will help us meet our target for 20 percent growth this year.”

Argentina is the world’s No. 3 soybean exporter and the second-biggest corn supplier. Grains output has risen sharply during the last decade, boosting demand for agrochemicals.

A severe drought severely cut grains output last season, but plentiful rains have boosted yields this year. Argentina expects 2009/10 soy and corn output to reach a record 54 million tonnes and 22.7 million tonnes respectively. (Reporting by Savio D‘Souza in Bangalore and Luis Andres Henao in Buenos Aires; Editing by David Gregorio)

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