Shares for Nutrien — the new company formed by the merger of Agrium Inc. and Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc. — started trading in Toronto and New York this morning.
After receiving final clearance from the United States’ Federal Trade Commission on December 27th, the deal to create the world’s largest crop nutrient provider, which also owns the largest crop input retail network, was made official as of this week.
“Today we are proud to launch Nutrien, a company that will forge a unique position within the agriculture industry,” said Chuck Magro, Nutrien president and CEO, in a statement on Tuesday. “Our company will have an unmatched capability to respond to customer and market opportunities, focusing on innovation and growth across our retail and crop nutrient businesses. Importantly, we intend to draw upon the depth of our combined talent and best practices to build a new company that is stronger and better equipped to create value for all our stakeholders.”
Nutrien has four related business units: retail, potash, nitrogen and phosphate.
Nutrien will operate around 1,500 farm retail locations, which were previously owned by Agrium, under Crop Production Services in North America, Landmark Operations in Australia, and Agroservicios Pampeanos in South America — the world’s largest farm retail network, with more than 3,300 crop advisors and annual sales of around $12 billion, according to the company.
With more than 22 million tonnes of annual potash production capacity in Canada, Nutrien becomes the largest potash producer in the world. The company says it’s also the third-largest nitrogen fertilizer producer, with close to 11 million tonnes of nitrogen product sales annually, and the second-largest phosphate producer in North America, with over 3 million tonnes of phosphate sales annually.
The company expects to save US$500-million in annual operating synergies by the end of 2019 from “distribution and retail integration, production optimization, and procurement savings.”
Nutrien has two corporate offices, in Saskatoon and Calgary, with the former PotashCorp headquarters in Saskatoon registered as the head office.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission granted its approval last week on the condition that Nutrien sells Agrium’s superphosphoric acid (SPA) plant in Conda, Idaho and Agrium’s nitric acid plant at North Bend, Ohio. Agrium had previously announced deals to sell the SPA plant to Itafos and the nitric acid plant to Trammo in November.
Agrium and Itafos also entered into long-term supply and off-take agreements for the plant in Idaho, with Agrium supplying 100 percent of the ammonia requirements and purchasing 100 percent of MAP product produced.