Agrium's Ill-Fated Bid to Acquire CF Industries Holdings
The case is set in early 2010, a few weeks after Agrium, a large fertilizer manufacturer and distributor, put an end to its attempt to acquire CF Industries Holdings, another fertilizer company. The attempt itself was initiated early in 2009, and the last offer made by Agrium was dated November 2009. The leader of Agrium's M&A task force wants to review the doomed offer in order to determine whether a mistake was made in terms of either the valuation or deal structure, or whether the target was just unreasonably demanding. Industry and company background is provided, together with a summary of the initial offer and subsequent revisions. An Excel file and maps accompany the case. In addition to comparative financial analysis and equity valuation, this case provides the opportunity to discuss and evaluate synergy effects, acquisition premia and forms of payment.