JANA Partners Rejects Agrium's Choice of Directors
JANA Partners LLC today released the following statement in response to the announcement by Agrium (NYSE: AGU) that it will appoint new directors to its board:
For over six years Agrium rejected the need for industry experience on the board and its CEO was quoted just days ago saying that there were "no shortcomings" related to its Retail business on the board and that industry experience was not a prerequisite for board service. Then in response to growing shareholder pressure, Agrium acknowledged the need for such experience and said it would look for such directors, but also set forth a litmus test that such directors would not question management's prior performance or strategy, or in other words would agree to abdicate a director's primary function.
Today, Agrium has completed that narrow search and announced two new directors who apparently meet management's criteria for board service by embracing an unquestioned status quo, despite the clear opportunities for value creation that shareholders have rallied around. In short, Agrium continues to want to have it both ways, to keep acknowledging the points we have raised – first capital allocation