PotashCorp, Agrium merger sees slight delay

Published 12:34 pm Monday, September 11, 2017

PotashCorp’s merger with agricultural product company Agrium Inc. is taking a little longer than expected.

The merger will not be complete in the third quarter of 2017, but both companies stated they hope to reach completion by the end of the year. In a press release, the companies cited pending trade conditions from China and India as a cause of delay, although these conditions “are not expected to impact the estimated $500-million of annual operating synergies.”

“The regulatory review and approval process has progressed in all remaining jurisdictions. In Canada and the U.S., the parties are working with the Canadian Competition Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission to resolve final issues in superphosphoric acid (SPA) and nitric acid,” the release states.

PotashCorp operates a phosphate mine operation in Aurora, which employs hundreds of people from Beaufort County and surrounding areas. The company has locations in three countries, 10 of which are in the United States, and mines nitrogen, phosphate and potash. Both PotashCorp and Agrium are headquartered in Canada.

The companies announced they were in talks for a merger in late August 2016, and the two confirmed the merger decision a year ago Tuesday.

There is no word on how the merger will affect plant locations, such as Aurora, with regard to the workforce; however, PotashCorp-Aurora plans to host a job fair at the site later this month.

“Our workforce and the communities in which we operate are critical to both PotashCorp and Agrium, and we intend to carry forward best practices from both companies in corporate social responsibility, including commitments to employees, operating communities and the environment,” PotashCorp President and Chief Executive Officer Jochen Tilk stated last year.

As the merger transaction continues, PotashCorp saw a 30-percent increase in U.S. exports from the first quarter of 2017 to the second quarter, according to data from The Fertilizer Institute. Although exports are down from this time last year, these suppliers haven’t seen an uptick since the second quarter of 2016. Officials remain hopeful this positive trend will continue.

Once the merger is complete, the new company will become Nutrien and will be the largest provider worldwide of crop inputs and services.