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Alternative Market Briefing

Activist hedge fund Jana Partners fails to gain seats in Agrium

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

From Precy Dumlao, Opalesque Asia – U.S. activist hedge fund Jana Partners suffered defeat Tuesday despite early confidence of a victory after it failed to gain two board seats in Canadian agricultural supplies company, Agrium.

According to a report by the Financial Times, it was a rare defeat for the $4.5bn hedge fund firm run by Barry Rosenstein.

Jana’s Rosenstein accused Agrium of changing the rules that resulted to his defeat. He was quoted as saying, "We have learnt however that after the vote deadline, enough votes for us were apparently revoked to change the outcome."

But Agrium’s president and chief executive Mike Wilson denied the charge and said that the re-election of the 12 incumbent directors nominated by the firm shows an overwhelming support of Agrium’s stockholders in its strategy.

Mike Wilson said he regretted that the process took 10 months to come to a resolution but he’s glad the proxy battle was over, The Globe and Mail reported. "I don’t know why they chose us. They obviously chose the wrong target," Mr. Wilson was quoted as saying about Jana. "Based on what I’m seeing, this is the new wave – people who are looking for short-term gain, versus long-term gain."

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